Education ministry inaugurates ICT committee to tackle challenges

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The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, on Thursday inaugurated a Standing Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to tackle the challenges of the sector.

Mr Ben Goong, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, made the disclosure in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.

Echono said the committee would work out modalities to tackle the numerous ICT-related challenges of the education sector and remove the obstacles to the establishment of ‘proper ICT projects in the sector.’

He stressed the need for the committee to focus on tackling the issues of low ICT literacy among teachers and students, lack of reliable education data, out-of-school children and outdated ICT curriculum.

He added that poor internet connectivity; inadequate ICT infrastructure, under-utilisation of ICT infrastructure and lack of effective collaboration among the ministry’s parastatals and agencies would also be tackled.

He, therefore, to make concerted efforts at ensuring the delivery of qualitative evidence-based education in the country.

He listed the committee’s terms of reference to include setting up a digital literacy training standard for the sector; recommending valuable ICT projects that would enhance teaching and learning at the tertiary level.

Others, he said, are coordination of ICT curriculum planning and alignment, make recommendations that would restructure and enable the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgRen) project to achieve its objectives.

He also urged the committee to utilise the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) as an overall guideline to achieve the ministry’s ICT goals.

In his remarks, the committee Chairman and Director of the ICT department of the ministry, Alhaji Abubakar Isah, tasked the committee to evolve strategies to improve digital literacy, build the capacity of teachers as well as solve the issues of inadequate and under-utilisation of ICT resources in the sector.

Isah said the ministry personnel must also embrace the enormous advantages offered by ICT facilities in order to change ‘our way of doing things’ especially migrating from analogue to digital procedures with guarantees of rapid and accurate results.

He noted that with ICT, the era of painful, tedious travels for data gathering was over, adding that data from sites could now be collected and transmitted in quick time to any part of the world.

He expressed concern that the resistance to ICT by some government personnel was causing the Federal Government enormous finances which can easily be deployed to other areas of need.