Godwin Obaseki, the Governor of Edo State, has decried the prevalence of obsolete teaching methods in institutions of learning in Nigeria. He believes that the moribund teaching methods account for the poor quality of education and high level of illiteracy in the country. For this reason, the governor, who made the recommendations on August 8 to mark the World Literacy Day, wants policy makers to improve the quality of teaching and learning by prioritising the use of Information and Communication Technology in bridging the existing gap.
According to Obaseki, the occasion of the World Literacy Day presents ”an opportunity for policy makers in the education sector, parents, and educationists to review the efforts at improving the quality of education in the country.
“We cannot continue with the old teaching methods that failed to put us in the league of the most literate people in the world” he stressed, adding that “the efforts of governments at various levels, to build and equip more schools, employ and train more teachers, encourage children to come to school through various initiatives like the School Feeding Programme of the federal government, would not yield the desired result if at the policy level, the use of ICT is not placed on the front burner.”
Narrowing the sector to Edo State, Obaseki said his administration’s ICT-driven educational policy, was in line with the theme of this year’s International Literacy Day: “Literacy in a Digital World” which seeks to determine the literacy skills that are needed by people, and the ways of optimizing the associated opportunities. He went on to list projects his administration is undertaking in the education sector, such as the digitalisation of libraries in public schools, ongoing renovation of the Benin Technical College, billed to have a Technology Park on completion and the remodeling work in several primary and post primary schools across the state. Giving further insight, the governor said: “Edo University Iyamho is leveraging on the strength of Information and Communication Technology, while Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, and the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, are being repositioned to deliver modern manpower.”
The 2015 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) survey revealed that 65 million Nigerians are illiterates, which experts say could jeopardize government’s efforts at improving the quality of life and lifting millions of Nigerians from poverty.
In 2010, a survey by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the literacy level in Edo State at 45.8 per cent, with adult literacy rate at 56.9 per cent. The highest is Lagos at 92.0 per cent and the lowest, Borno State with 14.5 percent.