A business solutions provider, Verraki Partners, has urged the Federal Government to leverage the cheap mobile technology in the country to bridge existing gaps in the education sector.
Speaking on the sidelines of the grand finale of Prof Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition (PAADC) at the University of Lagos, its Senior Partner and Head of the Ventures Unit, Kelvin Balogun, said quality instructional materials could be made available to the masses through the mobile phones.
He said: “We can tackle our education problem by applying new thinking, leveraging technology such as the mobile phone and broadband internet. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), internet subscribers are about 114 million as at February 2019, largely via mobile phones. The mobile phone has become the preferred device of choice for payments, ride-hailing and healthcare; it can be used for education and learning too. Education via mobile phones is a leveler and will guarantee access to quality education for everyone, irrespective of financial status or social class, language or tribe.
“It also ensures access to low-cost teaching resources, added value compared to traditional teaching and a complementary solution for teacher training.
“Across levels, we can develop applications that give certificated education, fit-for-purpose and pragmatic, while complementing current education realities. Students can access online lectures, compressed for mobile phones with exercises, theory, games, peer-to-peer support, ranking competitions, tests, self-assessment, online resources and incentives for those that complete their classes. Aside the 10.5million primary school age- children currently out of school in Nigeria, mobile learning brings education to our underserved people and communities; people who would otherwise not have had access. It is highly scalable, low-touch and addresses the bottom of pyramid with the basic core – English, Mathematics and Social Studies/African History. An example is Nokia’s MoMaths (Mobile Mathematics) programme, which gives South Africa children from low-income families access to high-quality education. MoMaths was launched by Nokia and the country’s Department of Science and Technology, aligned to its CAPS curriculum and provided a complimentary mobile learning platform to all South African high school Maths learners in Grade 10 -12. To leapfrog connectivity challenges, we can explore a similar model to Rwanda, which partnered with OneWeb to launch a satellite (named Icyerekezo) which will bring internet connectivity to students in rural Nkombo Island.”