Students of the Lagos State University (LASU)
Amidst increasing global technological advancement, experts have warned that future learning may be predicated on digital, multimedia and mobile contents, hence the need for countries to seek ways of retooling their educational system to be at par with the future.
Recent trends in the information and communications technology (ICT), showed that great technological change awaits the future of education, which makes it imperative for nations to start engaging technological experts to project and formulate policies that would shape future learning among their citizens.
For instance, Republic of Korea, had for long engaged the services of experts to assess future possibilities for education. The country’s Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development “had requested an international assessment of future possibilities for education and learning by the year 2030 to help inform them of their choices for setting better long-range educational policies.”
According to reports from The Millennium Project Global Futures Studies and Research, the decision of the Korean government, “was to present a broad array of policy choices and options, which can inform the policy-making process of the ministry and how to dispense learning contents to their children.”
This step therefore shows true and practical commitment to education by a serious government.
Some experts who spoke with The Guardian on future learning in the nation’s educational system affirmed that the narratives surrounding countries that recorded major breakthroughs in education showed that adequate and meticulous planning and organisation came into play.
They therefore asserted that for Nigeria to rightly position itself for the emerging global knowledge economy and participate positively in the future education scene, it must plan ahead of time as well as engage experts and stakeholders in the tasks of designing feasible programmes that would work for its education system.
They therefore charged education policymakers to look ahead and envision emerging educational opportunities that would bring desired growth for the nation.
According to Chairman, Mobile Software Solutions Limited, Lagos, Chris Uwaje, “The art of learning and governance has changed forever. Innovation has disrupted education content and processes. Future education is currently being re-defined.
“However, one thing is clear. Future education would be digital, multimedia and mobile. Knowledge parks may takeover the normal schools of today. Future research and development may be conducted in space orbit.”
“Knowledge is not only the fundamental raw material, industry, product, institution and service (all-in-one) contributed to national development and wealth creation. It is indeed the prime factor for effective, organised, productive and sustainable human existence. There has been much talk about the emerging new world built around the concept of globalisation and technology. What we have not started talking about as a nation is how to prepare to fully engage the emerging new education-centric knowledge society.”
He said with the advent of Internet 2, cloud computing, big data, IoT, IPv6 we are gradually leaving the ICTs world behind (where “communication” would be a ‘given’ and ‘connectivity’ a permanent feature of life) and entering the era of Information and Knowledge Technologies (IKTs). The role of Information Technology or Knowledge Parks is to harness team-based multi-dimensional ideas and skills and incubate same into rare knowledge, which is further mashed into intricate intelligence.”
On where the country needs to pay urgent attention to achieve greater goals, Uwaje said, “Our current weakness is at the ‘teaching/lecturer faculty’ and ‘content authoring’ levels. Nigeria needs future teachers that would teach future school and future students. We need to retool education today, through technology conversion process. These process bare policies, establish industries and institution, produce products and services and sustained by continuous training, learning, research and development for global competitiveness.
For the former Vice Chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, Prof. Isaac Adebayo Adeyemi, future learning would be ICT-based, as knowledge economy is now the order of the day.
“The resultant effect is for our educational system to be properly assessed and reconfigured around emerging developments in information and communications technology. Distant learning and part time programmes all over the world are ICT driven with the prospect of Internet-based institutions emerging in not too distant future.
“It is therefore imperative for the government to repackage our future schools through public private partnership by putting in place an enabling environment for ICT based learning systems and solutions, as well as cooperating with providers of the technologies in the telecoms and ICT industries. Curricular at all tiers of learning should be jointly developed by both the education sector and the developers of learning solutions.”
Adeyemi further charged government to provide the required funding and provide necessary logistic support including training of the relevant skilled teachers and lecturers with an advise that the approach must be broad-based from primary to tertiary institutions.
The former vice chancellor also lamented the non availability of ICT facilities in most Nigerian schools and urged all concerned to address this trend.
He said, “The usage of ICTs in Nigeria’s education system is at its infancy. To me we are at the gestation period when compared with the trends in technologically advanced countries. Most primary pupils and secondary school students, especially in public schools do not have access to ICT facilities. Even most universities cannot boast of internet and supporting facilities 24 hours in seven days of the week. Worse still is the epileptic power supply and the cost of putting ICT facilities in place, and maintenance have bottlenecks in ensuring provision of uninterrupted facilities.”