Stakeholders in the education-technology space have been advised to invest in digital resources to enhance quality of education among girls.
This was the takeout of the conversation during the October edition of EdTech Monday, an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation in partnership with Co-Creation Hub.
The virtual roundtable moderated by a social engineering practitioner, Joyce Daniel, featured panelists including National Programme Officer, UN Women Nigeria, Patience Ekeoba, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google, Temilade Adelakun, former Commissioner for Education in Akwa Ibom State, Eunice Thomas and a University of Benin undergraduate, Oseme Eigbodion.
Participants noted that across the world, there is an increasing interest for the deployment of technology in the education sector. They noted that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in the use of digital technologies in education, while also revealing staggering gender gaps in access to, and use of digital technology around the world.
According to them, digital learning presents an excellent opportunity to bridge the digital gender divide and bring quality education to every girl.
At the roundtable themed: ‘Advancing girls education through digital learning,’ Thomas said there is need to address unconscious biases against the girl child to ensure that digital learning is made possible and interesting.
With the world going digital, time has come to let Nigerian girls understand the significance of digital learning to their overall growth.
She said though there have been issues around policy implementation in the education sector, the solution lies in stakeholders working together to monitor and evaluate implementation.
In her remarks, Adelakun said government and other stakeholders have a big role to play in eradicating gender bias and enable access to digital learning for the girl child.
“We need to promote gender-responsive digital teaching and learning. We need to invest to be able to know about girls’ digital realities and ensure that learning solutions are custom-fit for their digital world. We must ensure that our curriculum have 24th century skills,” Adelakun said.
Also speaking, Ekeoba identified high cost of digital education, online bullying, negative cultural or social norms and ignorance as some of the challenges confronting improvement of digital learning among girls.
While calling on government to invest in digital learning, Ekeoba urged tech entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to introduce technology that is user-friendly, as this would go a long way in supporting girls on digital learning.
“We need to invest a lot if we want our girls to be digitally savvy. We need to commit a lot of resources to improve girls’ education in digital learning. We need to develop our curriculum in local languages to help learners comprehend faster. We need educated parents to be able to manage their fears on how best to handle risks associated with digital learning and provide capacity training for teachers,” she said.