Experts in the sector, including university administrators, have been urged to leverage technology by embracing digital learning to deepen access to quality tertiary education.
Speaking at the August edition of EdTech Mondays, an initiative of Mastercard Foundation in partnership with Co-creation Hub, participants at the virtual roundtable, including Acting Head of Department, Environmental Health Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Oluremi Saliu; Information Technology scholar, NOUN, Michael Asefon and lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Oluwatoyin Ajilore-Chukwuemeka said technology is imperative in today’s world.
At the roundtable moderated by social engineering practitioner, Joyce Daniels, and themed: “Digitising higher education in Nigeria: Opportunities and challenges,” Saliu noted that digital learning has always been the driver for learning in tertiary institutions such as NOUN, noting that COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener on the many possibilities available to acquire education.
She noted that most tertiary institutions in Nigeria are beginning to embrace e-learning, which has taken the form of revolution with underprivileged, poor and rich now having access to it.
According to her, NOUN as an institution enjoys a robust learning environment with students having access to educational resources.
In his remarks, Asefon, who is a software engineer, said digital learning creates room for flexibility and it’s less distracting.
He advised ed-tech innovators and university administrators to provide training and much-needed infrastructure platforms to facilitate easy adoption of e-learning, both by students and teachers.
Ajilore-Chukwuemeka explained that the challenge with adoption of digital learning does not lie with infrastructure and training alone, but also behavioural change on the part of students and teachers.
According to her, many students and lecturers still consider it strange adapting to online-learning, since it was introduced as a stop-gap in the heat of COVID-19 pandemic.
She also stressed the need for telecommunication companies and education stakeholders to find a way to subsidise cost for data and devices to enable students have easy access to online learning,