Summary of a summary: Nigeria’s ICT Quiz
Last week, Nigerian secondary school students participated in an annual information and communication technology quiz. A summary of the two-day event, written by Y. Z. Yau, the director of CITAD, appeared in the Lagos-based Daily Independent. Mr. Yau also had some interesting personal thoughts on the quiz, and they are worth examining in further detail. A breakdown of his points are below:
- The students were very enthusiastic to participate in the competition.
- This is positive indeed, but one must hope that the students were vying for more than just first prize: a desktop computer. Either way, a quiz is a perfect incentive to learn about ICT. Children are very competitive.
- The students had very little knowledge of the regulatory environment, although this subject is part of the curriculum.
- Yes, this material should be taught, but it probably is difficult for the students (let alone adults!) to keep straight. Students in other countries, such as America, have no idea how the regulatory structure is laid out. Nigeria should instead consider offering bonus credit to students who learn about the regulatory environment. (Again, an incentive, but this is what it may take to strengthen ICT knowledge)
- The students seem to understand theory but may lack hands-on computer skills.
- Like Mr. Yau says, not all schools have adequate computing facilities. Theory is more important than practical skills, assuming informed students can better transition to real-world applications. Still, computers are an essential need and there is no time to waste if Nigeria’s workforce already lacks e-skills.
- Conclusion: Access to education is contracting as the demand for information is increasing. Stakeholders must take notice and support the education sector.