Following a five-day digital literacy training programme organized for primary school teachers in Chikun Local Government Area, Kaduna, attended by 25 teachers, some of the primary school teachers were extremely and obviously elated as they were able to operate a computer for the very first time. The training was organized by Emerald-Isle Foundation (EIF) under its “Train-the-Tutor” project, designed to improve the capacity of teachers, in partnership with the Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism, IHIFIX Foundation, Queen Amina College, and Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Professionalism (LEAP) Africa, a youth-focused leadership development non-profit organization.
The training session was jointly organized by the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment, and Development. Ms. Kasham Tanko, a teacher at a Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Sabon Tasha, said the training had been an “important turning point” for her. Tanko recognized this as a once-in-a-lifetime chance which transformed her from being a digital novice to a digital expert. She also said that the training had helped her become more proficient in using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to create lesson plans, take notes, and make presentations.
The training was deemed an “eye-opener” by one of the teachers.
She further commended EIF for providing the chance to learn how to use the internet as a resource, which has allowed her to create engaging lessons and extensive notes for her students, utilizing a variety of online platforms. Other trainees, however, informed the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that this was their first experience using a computer, although having seen them many times before. Mrs. Debora Solomon, head teacher of UBE Primary School Sabon Gida, Udawa, said that using a computer for the first time since she began teaching in 2007 was an “experience beyond description.”
The Head Teacher claimed that she is now well-versed in the usage of several software programmes, such as Google Apps for Education and other online tutoring websites. “Now I can do all these things on a computer,” Debora mentioned as she thanked Emerald-Isle Foundation. Likewise, the training was deemed an “eye-opener” by Mrs. Dorcas Dare, a Primary One teacher at Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Nasarawa I. She claims that her understanding of the digital realm has been expanded by the training that she received in digital literacy, which will facilitate the delivery of teaching and, ultimately, lead to better learning outcomes.
Participants needed to learn the fundamentals of computer usage.
Besides learning, Mrs. Dare said she has also learned how to source materials by logging into Ignite, the inspired e-platform and Nigerian Learning Passport. She said this training has much enhanced her capacity to instruct students through digital platforms. Mr. Isaac Sunday, a digital specialist with Ihifix Technology Ltd. in Kaduna and one of the trainers during the programme, stated that the training was intense since the participants needed to learn the fundamentals of computer usage.
He continued by saying that most of the teachers were using a computer for the first time, so he had to teach them the basics, such as clicking the mouse and turning the computer on and off. Keyboarding, folder creation, and the usage of Google’s collaboration features were all taught so that teachers could better communicate with one another and their students. While Mr. Sunday acknowledged the importance of digital literacy in the classroom, he noted that a lack of computers in most public primary schools in Kaduna State poses a “serious challenge” to this goal.
Training packages comprise Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, others.
The digital expert emphasized the importance of students having access to computers so that they may interact effectively with their teachers and be able to learn digitally. According to EIF Chief Executive Officer Ms. Evelyn Ode, the training packages comprise computer appreciation, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Google Collaborative Tools, and e-learning platforms. Ms. Ode underscored that the primary aim was for public and private schools in Kaduna State to enhance teaching and learning results in line with the modern digital era.