Lack of educational ICT behind Nigeria's stunted S&T growth

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

A paucity of educational software that brings teaching aids such as simulations, animations and graphics to the teaching and learning of science and technology (S&T) post basic courses, and the problem of inadequately prepared post-basic teachers to cope with the 21st century S&T challenges have been identified as factors that responsible for low technological breakthrough in the country.

Professor Ayobami Salami, Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Academics, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria who disclosed this recently, lamented that no nation can attain any meaningful height without the development of S&T education.

To fill this vacuum, he said the OAU, in partnership with the World Bank/STEB-B grants, Skye Bank and HiCOS Technologies, is planning to commission what he called the Centre of Excellence (CEoX) in Software Engineering.

“The Science and Technology (S&T) sector has been largely responsible for the scientific and technological breakthrough of many developed countries of the world.  S&T based post-basic education is one of the key factors for this breakthrough,” he said.

According to the DVC, who is also the project manager, the Software Engineering Centre will address all the issues identified as militating against the country’s breakthrough in science and technology.

Shedding more light on the project, Director of Information Technology and Communications Unit, Professor Sola Aderounmu, said the centre will create an enabling environment for imparting knowledge in S&T using ICT driven, participatory and student-centered teaching and learning approaches. The programmes within the centre will build national capacities (via post-graduate trainings, post-doctoral researches, short term trainings, conferences and workshops) in software engineering particularly in the areas of educational software development and application, networking, development of Internet and web applications, simulation, graphics, remote experimentation, hardware design, implementation, and maintenance. The centre will also equip subject teachers and students in S&T with skills to develop, deploy and evaluate teaching and learning using modern ICT facilities.

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