A committee has been set up by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETfund, to develop a higher education digital literacy and emerging skills policy and strategic action plan towards effective delivery of digital literacy and emerging skills.Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, who conducted a virtual inauguration of the committee, said the team became necessary because of the demand for technology in today’s world, not only in tertiary education but Nigeria’s economy.Echnono noted that digital literacy is a foundation issue of success in today’s technology driven world, regardless of educational goals, career pursuit or job functions.“As the world and indeed Nigeria continue to grapple with the growing jobs crisis, most Nigerians across all categories of the workforce lack the basic technological skills needed for real business application.“Therefore, proficiency in digital literacy is no longer an option, it is the prerequisite, it is the requirements. Our beneficiary institutions must play a crucial role in achieving these requirements.“I’m also aware that various policy frameworks exist in the Ministry of education as well as the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy with a target to achieve 60 percent digital literacy for youths and adults by 2025.“Again, we also have the Nigeria National broadband brand that also targets about 95 percent digital levels to be achieved across states and local governments by 2030,” he said.According to him, “we are inaugurating this advisory committee today to show us the pathway and work out the necessary steps to doing so and I’m very encouraged by the remarks of the chairman of the committee, who tells us exactly what the magnitude and complexities of the challenge before us is.“Under the able chairmanship of Emeritus Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, with members from our universities, NITDA, ICT consultants, TETFund directors of research, Academic Staff training and development in IT, it is envisaged that we will receive a more holistic and comprehensive plan that will increase our efforts towards digital literacy and for the purpose of the exercise today, let me indicate the composition of this committee and the various roles members are supposed to play.“One of the major interventions we are trying to do here is to digitalise all our academic records and repositories where you can access this and people can benefit from it.“As part of the component, also we will develop a device that will capture our own local thesis this time because the current system we use, the thesis reproduced in this country are not in the database and it is difficult to cross check them but now that we are going to have all our thesis digitalised.“This is a composition of a team that was given this task and we believe that given the type of enthusiasm and the initial steps already taken we will be able to accomplish this task in record time.”
Emeritus Professor of National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Olugbemiro Jegede, is chairman of the committee while other members are drawn from the university community, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, ICT consultants, TETFund directors of research, Academic Staff training and development in IT.
Echono said the constitution of the team became necessary given the demand for technology in today’s world, not only in tertiary education but Nigeria’s economy.
He said other members of the committee include Professor Musa Ahmed, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, director IT infrastructure solution, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Dr Rislana Abdulazeez Kanya, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, IT, Research and Innovation, Baze University as a member, among others.
The terms of reference of the committee include to “Develop a Higher Education Digital Literacy and Emerging Skills Policy and Strategic Action Plan for the implementation of the policy towards effective delivery of digital literacy and emerging skills, training and certifications at TETFund, NUC, NBTE, NCCE and all other regulated tertiary institutions.
“Develop, adopt, or adapt (where possible) digital literacy standard that addresses national needs as well as enables workforce, students and graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions to skill or retool as technology evolves; Develop, adopt, or adapt one or more assessment and certification frameworks in line with global standards.”