The National Innovation Collaborative for Education (NICE), an initiative of the TEP Center, has launched a new EdMeets series called EdMeets TECH.
The event took place at Providence by Mantis Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos on 30th October, 2019. It was aimed at providing a platform for education and technology experts to synergize, thus strengthening access to quality education technology.
Charging the delegates, Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, spoke briefly on the concept of education in Nigeria. She talked on the need to make education more accessible, stressing the need for improvement in the learning quality, teachers, promoting equity, reaching out to the out-of-school children and also overcoming the challenges of infrastructure.
Speaking at the event, the Honorable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, noted that the challenges facing the sector are numerous, and that the solutions also abound. She focused on three factors; quality of teaching and learning with special attention on the teachers. She talked on the need to professionalize teaching, to sieve out anyone without the right qualifications. She informed that on a second look at the situation, the system actually lacked enough teachers, stating that teachers are employed in cohorts and have been retiring with no adequate replacements.
That challenge needs to be addressed. One thing we can do is to employ teachers with the appropriate qualification, which is either a NCE or first degree in Education. We also need to focus on capacity building for them and the condition for service for teachers. That is, making teaching more attractive; trying to make them undergo a career path unlike the conventional style, where they just work for thirty years and become deputy head, and then additional two years and they become head, and then after three years they retire. What happens between those years?
“There should be a form of career path to engage them actively in their years of service before retirement,” she added.
Speaking further, she informed that the career path will help improve them and then give them a course to walk them through their years of service. She also spoke about infrastructure and literacy, stressing the need for partnerships and relationships to promote mentoring and coaching. She therefore called on the tech experts present to come up with complex technology solutions that will scale through, to help address some of these needs identified.
Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant on Education to the President, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said that his priority would be to provide an educational framework that would remain irrespective of who is in government. He noted that graduates needed to be compulsorily equipped with digital skills that would serve as one of the criteria for employment.
According to him, it becomes pertinent to be sure that any teacher that enters a class should at least be able to deliver the minimum standard. ‘‘I am aware that you cannot stop a state from employing teachers but you can set a criterion for their employment,’’ he added.
Delegates also had the opportunity to ask questions, proffer solutions and most importantly network with each other.