Northern Nigerian Breaking News

UBEC to construct six ICT schools in Nigeria at N3.6bn

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) says that it would construct six smart schools in the six geopolitical zones of the country to the tune of N3.6bn.

A statement signed by the UBEC’s Head of Public Relations, David Apeh, on Wednesday, in Abuja confirmed the development.

‘’The management of the commission also commenced discreet efforts to ensure the full implementation of e-learning programs in basic education across the country, following the challenges occasioned in the sub-sector by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and closure of schools, ‘’the statement said.

The statement read in part, “To this end, the UBEC has assembled a team of experts in Kano for a 5-day workshop for the development of course outline and course contents for the training of education managers, teachers, technical support personnel and other stakeholders for the smart schools and e-learning programs in basic education in Nigeria.

“The commission is building six smart schools (that is six information, communication and telecommunications schools) in the six geo-political zones at a cost of about N3.6bn; being part of the initiative to encourage e-learning in the country.’’

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“UBEC will also build one of such schools in all the 36 states of federation, with each estimated to cost about N350m.

“The schools will have the capacity to accommodate a large number of students and ICT infrastructure.”

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In the statement, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi,  said, “The recent challenges in the basic education sub-sector, occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, has accelerated the need for new learning and teaching models that offer learners and teachers flexible learning opportunities that seek to ensure unfettered access to quality education; hence the idea of integrating e-learning into the basic education system.

“Fortunately, the commission, even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been vigorously pursuing two important projects; the Smart Schools and the E-learning projects.

“In order for these 2 projects to successfully take-off, there is the need for the commission to develop the capacity of relevant stakeholders that will ultimately manage these schools in particular and the basic education sub-sector in general.

“It is on this basis that the UBEC is proposing a 5-day workshop for the development of course outline and course contents for the training of education managers, teachers, technical support personnel and other stakeholders for the Smart Schools and E-Learning Programmes.”

‘’Bobboyi explained that the capacity building for the different categories of stakeholders would include general training on ICT tools and facilities.’’

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According to the statement, Bobboyi added that the training would cover all issues pertaining to the effective use of various ICT tools and facilities to enable the teachers to efficiently use them; saying this would also cover areas that have to do with various software packages and their usefulness to e-learning delivery.

On digital pedagogical training, the UBEC boss said this would focus on developing teachers’ skills on e-learning lesson delivery, explaining that the pedagogical skills required for e-learning delivery is far different from the face-to-face pedagogical skills.

“Without these skills, the expected impact of the initiative would be minimal, if not lacking. The training will cover such areas as pedagogical skills for online lesson delivery, learning management system, assessment practices, blended learning methodology, etc,” he said.

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