What ICT Powered Education Would Mean For Kwara State Economy.
Without doubt, technology is one of the most important driving forces for development in the 21st century.
Its impact is so diverse that practically all aspects of human life have been drastically changed as a result; our financial institutions; the way we connect with others, and most importantly from the way we learn.
Technology has led us to think and do things differently than they’ve been done traditionally.
Consequently, human communication capabilities and connectivity has witnessed tremendous change through ICT. According to Techterms.com, Information communication technology or ICT “refers to technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications. It is similar to Information Technology (IT), but focuses primarily on communication technologies.
This includes the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums.”
Basically, ICT is geared towards improving communication capabilities and providing wider access to information. Its rapid prevalence has transformed the human society from the information age to the knowledge age providing greater access to millions across the globe, who hitherto would have found it difficult to communicate and share information.
The use of ICT has transformed the world to a “global village”. Also, ICT has increasingly played a critical role in all fields of human endeavors. It is being used globally to translate ideas into realizable goals and develop same into concrete achievement. ICT is readily useful in the areas of agriculture, engineering, medicine, law, architecture, aviation, commerce, insurance, banking and finance as well as maritime activities.
In fact, ICT is becoming a natural part of human life. In the field of education, ICT also has the potential to contribute to substantial improvements.
Over the last decades, there has been a wide consensus and realization that incorporating ICT into the teaching and learning process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Indeed, the use of ICT in education and training has been a key priority in Nigeria, although progress has been uneven.
ICT has had a major impact on the education sector, on organization and on teaching and learning methods. Yet there are considerably different ICT expenditure levels between institutions within the country. Some schools have embedded ICT into the curriculum, and demonstrate high levels of effective and appropriate ICT use to support teaching and learning across a wide range of subject areas, however, the level of implementation and incorporation in education is sadly low. This article is geared towards illuminating the various advantages of an ICT powered education system and how it will positively position Kwara State on the Mount Olympus of educational and economic development in Nigeria. One of the major advantages of an ICT powered education system is a greater access to information. The internet has an array of e-libraries and resources that can be accessed at any given time.
This has the double advantage of providing information to teachers and students that may not be available locally. This advantage is perhaps of great importance to education in Kwara State, since libraries are either poorly equipped where available or unavailable in most areas. Incorporating ICT into the education system would greatly improve the knowledge pool for students and teachers, thereby improving the quality of the teaching and learning process.
Another area is that of continuous and individual learning. ICT provides the mean, especially for students in Kwara State to learn continuously through access to educational resources online. This has been perhaps brought into greater focus with the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world. Educational institutions across the globe have had to shut down schools to reduce the rate of infections. Countries with well-established online learning platforms have been able to learn despite this.
However, teaching and learning in developing countries like Nigeria, where millions of school children are out of school. Also, it is trite that no one learns in the same way because of different our learning styles and different abilities.
ICT provides great opportunities for making learning more effective for everyone with different needs since resources can be accessed at the learner’s pace and to suit their learning style. Thirdly, Kwara students can learn useful life skills through technology. By using technology in the classroom, both teachers and students can develop skills essential for the 21st century. Students can gain the skills they will need to be successful in the future.
Students can gain the skills they will need to be successful in the future. Modern learning is about collaborating with others, solving complex problems, critical thinking, developing different forms of communication and leadership skills, and improving motivation and productivity.
What is more, technology can help develop many practical skills, including creating presentations, learning to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources on the Internet, maintaining proper online etiquette, and writing emails. These are very important skills that can be developed. Other ways in which ICT can be used in Kwara State education include: Supporting conventional classroom work; the teacher could ask his/her students to use ICT approach; helping in the design and development of learning materials.
A lot of materials can be downloaded from the internet. Such materials must however be adapted to suit the specific instructional objectives. Accessing electronic teaching materials such as books, journals. These can be accessed, stored and analyzed by the use of ICT; Giving or providing access to the world of resources especially in electronic form. Playing a key role in educational administration.
Students’ data, personnel administration, purchasing and supplies, advertisement and so on can be handled with ease using ICT; making learning more vivid and engaging. Assisting the teacher in assessment and testing; and Bringing a permanent solution to brain drain problems as we now live in a global village. Despite these lofty advantages, ICT has its drawbacks. One of such is the large cost involved and poorer students and educational establishments may end up being disadvantaged.
This is often referred to as being a factor in the digital divide. Students, and sometimes teachers, can get hooked on the technology aspect, rather than the subject content. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and other social media networking sites can be a distraction to living and learning in the real world. Flowing from the above, it can be gleaned that despite apparent drawbacks, the importance of an ICT powered education system cannot be overemphasized. It will be of tremendous advantage to Kwara State to incorporate ICT into the state’s education system. This will further improve the level of education in the State and set a standard for other states to follow. It is worthy of praise that Kwara State ranks as one of the states with the least out of school children in the country.
However, for this to continue, it is important to consistently improve the quality of teaching and learning. Incorporating ICT into education in Kwara State will go a long way in further reducing the figures of out of school children and also, the quality of education in the State.
According to Malcom X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. An ICT powered education system is the future, and harnessing the vast advantages today will shape the economic and educational future of Kwarans tomorrow.