In an effort to promote smart education in Nigeria, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) have jointly commenced a two-day smart education conference tagged The Institutionalisation of Smart Education in Nigeria. Mr. Son Sungil, the director of KOICA in Nigeria, addressed the attendees, emphasizing the conference’s primary goal of unifying endeavors to establish an all-encompassing and enduring system of high-quality smart education in public schools across Nigeria.
This conference will showcase advancements made in the Smart Schools Programme and encourage a vibrant interchange of thoughts, creating a platform for discussing the influence of technology in basic education. UBEC initiated a transformative education initiative with the aim of revolutionizing education through the establishment of intelligent educational institutions in all 36 states and the FCT. Out of these schools, six lucky establishments are being supported by KOICA through a grant of $10.4 million.
UBEC executives were provided training under KOICA initiative.
The financial aid not only assists in fostering international and local capacity building aimed at empowering teachers, educators, and policy makers, but it also signifies the remarkable impact of this program on the educational landscape. He pointed out the successful collaboration between the commission and KOICA, adding that KOICA has actively participated in UBEC’s smart school initiative throughout the nation. Their notable accomplishments include providing extensive training sessions for State Universal Primary Education Board (SUBEB), chairmen and UBEC executives nationwide.
He has also mentioned various feats accomplished such as conducting capacity building programs for leaders and teachers in Nigeria and abroad, creating digital educational materials for Mathematics and Science, supplying digital smart studio equipment, and providing consultation on smart education direction and school operation guidelines. On his part, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, the executive secretary of UBEC emphasized that this audacious endeavor to establish technologically immersive schools will provide Nigerian children with a high-quality education that can rival the educational standards observed in various advanced nations across the globe.
All govt levels, private entities urged to support the endeavor.
Sungil stated that providing our young learners with high-quality intelligent education is a costly endeavor due to the substantial expenses associated with constructing extensive infrastructure, establishing advanced networking systems, purchasing equipment and devices at steep prices, and ensuring thorough training programs for teachers. In addition, he expressed gratitude towards KOICA for their groundbreaking support. He further urged for the combined determination and collaboration of the Federal, State, and Local Governments, as well as global development agencies, local benefactors, private entities, and charitable individuals in support of this endeavor.
Attendees at the conference were important stakeholders in Nigeria’s basic education space such as Executive chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board from Kano, Nasarawa, FCT, Ekiti, Cross River and Bauchi states. Others include representatives of the Ministry of Education, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, among others. Also in participation were education experts from the Republic of Korea. Smart Education goes beyond just technological advancements; it encompasses innovative teaching and learning methods.
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As an innovative means of learning, Smart Education empowers educators by enhancing their skills and enables learners to acquire knowledge in a more efficient, effective, and adaptable manner, all while maintaining a comfortable learning environment. A groundbreaking initiative implemented by the federal government was the National Adopted School for Smart Education (NASSE) launched in 2021, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. NASSE, an indigenous Cloud-based Digital Education Platform, revolutionizes smart education by aligning with the rigorous National Educational Research Development Council (NERDC) curriculum. It is an effective approach of encouraging the younger generation to embrace technology at an early stage, particularly in the field of education.