The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has disclosed that over 62 million Nigerians are illiterate, adding that the figure remains inimical to the nation’s growth and development.
UNESCO also said it would take 58 years to eradicate illiteracy, even with innovation like Information and Communications Technology and other learning mechanisms.
Speaking at a global workshop on Teaching and Learning Methods organised by Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado Ekiti, Monday, National Programme Officer, UNESCO Regional office in Abuja, Dr. Muhammad Alkali, canvassed full embrace of ICT, not only to increase quality of education, but also, for more Nigerians to be educated.
He said the mobile system of education helps to make learning very flexible, particularly in a situation where resources are scarce, thereby fettering citizens’ access to education. “UNESCO is targeting drop-outs which are predominant in JSS2 going by available research in Nigeria. We are seriously concerned and worried with increasing illiteracy in Africa. We are getting a place in the neighbourhood where they can be taught.
“Unless we are deceiving ourselves, ICT remains the best way to provide education now going by the experiences in Pakistan. Nigeria needs 58 years to banish illiteracy and this is going to be hectic,” he said.
Founder of the university, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), said the 21st century presents challenges and opportunities for educational institutions to transform teaching and learning, saying ABUAD has identified ICT as a veritable platform to improve standard and this he said has been effective.
“The emergence of social networks like the Facebook, Twitter and others has assumed a global dimension, offering opportunities to disseminate knowledge to students online.
“This university has developed vast array of IT infrastructures around the campus to facilitate teaching, learning and research. This is aimed at nurturing students with novel technologies critical to sustaining their academic and professional careers.”
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Michael Ajisafe, disclosed that the university has invested so much in ICT, which had helped in making students have access to research in many universities across the globe, saying stakeholders in education have acknowledged their efforts in this regard. The VC added that reference has also been made to ABUAD as model and
leading light for quality education , given the extensive infrastructure available on campus to facilitate teaching, research and community service.