By Godfrey AKON
The Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, has said it has commenced efforts at ensuring full implementation of e-learning programmes in basic education schools across the country.
The commission disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by its Head of Public Relations, David Apeh, that it is building 6 smarts schools in the six geo-political zones at a cost of about N3.6 billion, in an effort to encourage e-learning in the country.
According to Apeh, UBEC will also build one of such schools in the 36 states of the federation with each estimated to cost about N350 million.
He noted that the implementation follows challenges earlier posed by the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in a prolonged lockdown and closure of schools.
He further disclosed that UBEC has developed Course Outline and Course Contents for the training of education managers, teachers, technical support personnel and other stakeholders for the Smart Schools and E-Learning programmes in basic education in Nigeria.
He said course outline and course contents for e-learning and Smart Schools projects as well as modalities for the delivery of the training courses on e-learning and Smart Schools projects will also be developed by experts assembled by the commission.
The UBEC spokesperson said the schools will have the capacity to accommodate a large number of students and ICT infrastructure.
Apeh noted that the training was very essential as it is intended to empower the teachers with skills that enable them develop their own contents and as well deliver such contents.
While speaking on the issue, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, said “The recent challenges in the basic education sub-sector occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for new learning and teaching models that offer learners and teachers flexible learning opportunities that seek to ensure unfettered access to quality education.
“Hence the idea of integrating e-learning into the Basic Education system.
“Fortunately, the Commission, even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been vigorously pursuing two important projects; the Smart Schools and the E-learning projects.
“In order for these 2 projects to successfully take-off, there is the need for the Commission to develop the capacity of relevant stakeholders that will ultimately manage these schools in particular and the Basic Education sub-sector in general.
“It is on this basis that the Commission is proposing a 5-Day Workshop for the Development of Course Outline and Course Contents for the Training of Education Managers, Teachers, Technical Support Personnel and Other Stakeholders for the Smart Schools and E-Learning Programmes,” he said.
Bobboyi further explained that the capacity building for the different categories of stakeholders would include general training on ICT tools and facilities.