The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has urged schools in Nigeria to dump obsolete teaching methods and embrace information and communication technology to improve the literacy rate and quality of education in the country.
Mr. Obaseki made the call on Thursday at an event in Benin City to mark the World Literacy Day.
According to him, policy makers in the education sector, parents and educationists need to review their efforts at increasing literacy in Nigeria.
“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 said.
“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, will not yield the desired result if at the policy level, the use of ICT is not placed on the front burner.”
Mr. 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”.
He said the policy seeks to determine the literacy skills that are needed by people to navigate the increasingly digitally-mediated world and associated opportunities.
In line with the policy, Mr. Obaseki said the state government had started digitalisation of libraries in public schools, while it is also revamping the Benin Technical College, which will have a Technology Park.
“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 governor said.
He said several primary and post primary schools were also being remodeled across the state, “to reset them to increase the literacy and numeracy levels in the state.”
The governor also revealed the plan for the state-owned media outfits, Nigerian Observer and Edo Broadcasting Service (Radio and Television stations), to run education programmes.
The 2015 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) survey revealed that 65 million of Nigerians are illiterates.
Experts have warned that this could jeopardize efforts at moving millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
An earlier survey in 2010 by the National 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.
According to the survey, Lagos State at 92 per cent has the highest literacy rate in Nigeria, while Borno is at the bottom of the ladder with 14.5 percent.