The Lagos State Government has expressed its readiness to leverage the digital platforms provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to reduce the challenge of Out-of-school children in rural communities.
Dr Adejare Afolabi, Director, Policy/Planning/Research and Statistics, Ministry of Education, said this during a two-day stakeholders’ dialogue workshop in Lagos.
The workshop with the theme ”Digital Learning Platforms” was organised by National Orientation Agency (NOA), in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Afolabi said that it would bring to bear the existing Nigeria Learning Passport (NLP) method with which UNICEF had trained more than 3,000 facilitators and provided tablets for the purpose.
He explained that the initiative was imperative as it would help the children improve their learning with the audio-visual system provided, and reduce abstract learning.
“We are leveraging on the existing NLP, an online/offline platform designed to complement the existing system of imparting knowledge and learning.
“It an initiative of federal and state governments in partnership with UNICEF.
“We have a number of out-of-school children and some who are slow in assimilating.
“So, this platform will help them listen, watch, learn and understand better what they are being taught in the classroom.
“It is a complementary platform used to boost the normal traditional learning system which we are using to reduce and address such issues”.
The director noted that the idea was to bridge the gap between the fast and slow learners, adding that every child could learn at his/her own pace, and also revise topics that they could understand and assimilate.
“Even teachers are incorporated in the system, as they have the opportunity of the platform to teach students by projecting the contents because children of these days learn faster with audio-visual materials”, he said.
Speaking on the overview of Youth Employment, Skilling, and upskilling in Nigeria, the Head of Communications, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Mrs Taiye Tunkarimu, said that the body also engaged in digital grassroots programme to create wealth, especially for the youths.
According to her, the fund developed a digital grassroots programme with UNICEF and was able to train market people on how digital to use the platform to promote their business, make gain and expand their customer base.
UNICEF is our partner and we have done a couple of training and engagements with them, including the digital literacy programme to train people at the grassroots.
“The training was on WhatsApp business, after which they were empowered with phones to promote their business and enhance their customer relations, all of this we did with UNICEF support.”
Also the Programme Specialist of UNICEF, Joannes Yimbesalu, spoke at the ‘Youth Agency Market Place YOMA. He described YOMA as a digital platform created by young people that allows them to build and transform their futures.
Yimbesalu said that 87 percent of Yoma users globally were Nigerian youth.
He said this gave them the opportunity to participate in learning, skilling, and social impact task.
“As they engage with these opportunities, they earn tokens which they can use to redeem on the Yoma marketplace for data and airtime and access to premium courses”, he said.
Yimbesalu said that UNICEF was partnering with the government and private sector to give young people the capacity to build and transform their futures and be productive citizens