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Nigerian Educational Technology
Thursday, 16 November 2006
Computer and Education in Nigeria

COMPUTER AS A DEVELOPMENTAL INSTRUMENT FOR THE NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SECTOR.

BY

OLAWUYI MUTIU

Introduction:

          Computer, as a technological instrument used for the development of every phenomenon – living or non-living, seeing or unseeing, “hard” of “soft”, etc., has in fact “familised”  the nations of the world by making the world itself to become an abode where a family (nucleus or extended) lives. It has in fact come to the level of changing from Global Village to Global Abode because interpersonal communication or relationship among people from a long distance apart has somehow magically (so to speak) changed to a “stressless” and lesser-time one through this fantabulous technological instrument called computer. No wonder, As-sabaab Computer Academy (ACA) referred to it as the world border.

           Consequently, growth and development of a nation is specifically determined by the level of her exposure to the wonderful data processing electronic machine called computer. Computer has made some of the developmental factors or determinants of every individual or nation like commerce, culture, language, defense or security and many more to be more efficient and effective with no time wastage and with no physical or psychological stress.

Importance of Computer in the Development of a Nation.

          Basically, according to ACA (2007) internet – the nucleus instrument or tool for effective functionality of computer is said to perform five (5) major functions, which are: commercial, religious, cultural linguistic and educational functions. These functions are the major determinants of the actual existence of man and his environ. That is why the so-called the developed countries are regarded as the vast and fast technologically developed geographical settings of the orb. Technology therefore encapsulates everything that has to do with the development of man and his environment.

Nigeria Education Vs Computer

          However, the landmark of the Nigerian educational technological instrument was precisely the year 1954, when a school of broadcasting unit was established in Kaduna.[1]

Although, the root of this establishment was as a result of the outcome of the Education Ordinance of 1930 that spelt out that schools should have adequate teaching and learning apparatus…. Moreover, the evolution of computer literacy precisely came up between the late 2000 and the early 2001 – the year when internet was fully introduced into the country.

                            

Computer and the Development of Education in Nigeria

          Education in Nigeria is basically categorized into three, namely traditional education (i.e. the indigenous education of the country), Islamic education (i.e. education of the Sudanese brought into the country through the Northern part of the country) and Western education (education of the British colonial masters or education of the Christian Missionaries).[2] These three (3) categories can be broadly classified into two, viz: informal and formal education. The former is known as the traditional or indigenous education while the latter are the Islamic education and the Western education (this is because the two have autographic feature and they are held in the  four walls of a building (most especially the Western education) called class, et cetera. More so, the instructional media for the two formal education are Arabic and English respectively.

          However, computer nowadays in Nigeria are becoming popular as there have increased emphasis of individualized programs of instruction and computer technology to make easier learning at all levels of education.[3] Also, now that the government has started equiping some secondary schools in the country with microcomputers connected with internet with the support of Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN), computer has therefore easily facilitates teaching and learning tasks.[4] Students now have assess to educational materials on internet and are allowed to have free participation in international academic competition, (e.g. poetry and essay competition at poetry.com and voicesnet.com, etc.) and at the same time make easier the publication of one’s literary work(s) irrespective of one’s field of study. It also allows the capable people of the country to engage themselves in the so-called distance learning.

Ways of Teaching and Learning with Computer.

          There are 5 cardinal points of teaching and learning with computer. These are: Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), Computer Manage Instruction (CMI), Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and Programming and Problem Solving.

CAI is a computer instructional term used in a simulating teaching environment. CAI is used for guided drill and practice exercise, computer visualisation of complex object, help educators to tracks students' grade and also facilitates smooth computer communication between students and teachers. CMI is used for instructional management in a webagogical[5] and pedagogical[6] environment. CAD is used for designing, building, animating, rendering of image bigger and clearer, et cetera. While programming and problem solving computers can essentially be used for developing educational programs and solve numerous educational problems, the CALL is basically used for teaching and learning of languages (most especially English and Arabic) as the case may be. . Hence, teachers and learners of the developed countries used all these ways of teaching with computer within and without their pedagogical environments.

Problems of Teaching and Learning with Computer

          In contrary to the happenings in most especially the European and American countries, Nigeria is faced with the problem of assessing and using some of these ways or styles of teaching and learning with computer due to the below briefly highlighted obstacles.

(a)           Inadequate or lack of fund for the procurement of the computer

               system.

(b)           Inadequate or lack of computer specialists or personnel to train

               students on the uses of computer for learning.

(c)           Lack of training workshops and seminars for teachers on the use of

               computer for instruction.

(d)           Instability of electricity power supply.

(e)           Poor attitude of teachers and learners to the learning of computer.

(f)            Incompatibility of the use of computer for instruction to the Nigerian

               curriculum.

(g)           Poor infrastructure, which hinder the conduciveness of teaching and

   learning tasks.

(h)           Poor system or method of school management.

(i)            Low level of technology.

(j)            Poor attitude of parents, government and stakeholders toward the

   teaching and learning with computer in most especially primary and

   secondary schools of the country.

(k)          Political and educational system instability of the country.

Solutions, Recommendations and Conclusion.

        Following a say that says: “where there a woe, there always a way”[7], the problems of teaching and learning with computer in Nigeria can be solved if the concerned individual or group consider the below suggested solutions.

i.          Government and stakeholders should jointly make the provision

for sufficient computer system at all levels of educational setting.

ii.          Parents should encourage their children to learn computer using

all the motivational instruments – financial, physical,

psychological, moral, and even spiritual ones.

iii.          Teachers should have positive attitude towards instructing their

learners through computer.

iv.      Also, teachers and even learners should be trained not only how

to operate the computer system for instruction but also how to

develop programs that can solve their educational problems.

v.          Government should provide effective and efficient infrastructure

that can enhance effective teaching and learning tasks.

vi.      The Nigerian educational curriculum should be fine-tuned so as

to suit the efficient and fruitful teaching and learning processes.

vii.     The government should try to improve the technological level of

the country by encouraging Individual and group to invest in the

technological sector of the country.

viii.     The government and stakeholders should try and train more

computer experts that can assist in teaching the teachers and

the learners of the country how to effectively operate computer

to solve their problem(s). This can easily be done by introducing

computer/education as a course in all tertiary institutions of

education in the country and at the same time recruit computer

experts from within and without of the country.

ix.          Teachers’ education should be fine-tuned to the extent that 

student teachers will be compulsorily expose to the practicability

of computer for instruction in the classroom.

x.          Government should make sure that the school management is

properly handled by the capable hands from within and outside

the school. This could be done by advocating for a fight against

corruption and a call for the due process in everywhere and at

every office of the country.

Four basic things determine the development of an individual.

                        They are: form, inform, reform and transform. You are formed

by God. For you to be able to be reformed, you need to be inf-

ormed. When there is reformation, you can therefore be thinki-

ng of transformation. Hence, education therefore forms, info-

rms, reforms and transforms….[8]

          With this, one can see that the Nigerian educational sector is lagging behind because of her low level of exposure to or information on the latest pedagogical instrument that breeds fast, vast, efficient and fruitful output called computer. Therefore, if all the above suggested solutions and recommendations are considered, the snailful growth and development of educational technology in Nigeria will surely become a talk-of-yesterday.

References:

Abimbade, A. (1997) Principles and Practice of Educational Technology

            Ibadan: International Publishers Limited.

Arnold, D. N. "Computer Aided Instruction" Microsoft Encarta[R] 2006 [CD]

            Redmond, W. A.: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.

As-sabaab Computer Academy (2007) Introduction to Internet Ikirun:

As-sabaab Computers.

Jimoh, S. A. (2004) Foundations of Education Ilorin: INDEMAC (Nigeria 

            Publishers) Limited.

Obielodan, T. (2004) Electronic Distance-Learning System in Abimbola

I. O. and Abolade, A. O. (Eds.) Fundamental Principles and

Practice of Instruction Ilorin: Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology, University of Ilorin.

Olawuyi, M. (2005) The New Life retrieved, January,2008 from

www.voicesnet.com

Onasanya, S. A. Computer in Education in Abimbola I. O. and Abolade,

A. O. (Eds.) Fundamental Principles and Practice of Instruction

Ilorin: Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational

Technology, University of Ilorin.

           



[1]  See Abimbade’s  Priciples and Practice of Educational Technology for detail

[2]  See Foundations of Education by S. A. Jimoh (Ed.) for detail

[3] (Onasanya, 2004)

[4] Kwara and some other state governments have done a lot on this.

[5] Webagogy is the art, craft, and science of using network technologies to support teaching and learning. Read more on this on http://staff.washington.edu/rells/webagogy

[6] Pedagogy is the study of teaching methods, including the aims of education and the ways in which such goals can be achieved. (Encyclopedia Britanica)

[7] Mutiu Olawuyi’s poem titled A New Life

[8]  Exerted from a speech delivered by Mr. Mahfouz Adedimeji at the 2007 Campus Crescent Press Club (CCPC) Annual Workshop, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria).


Posted by acaonline at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008 10:17 AM EST

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