By Mariam Sanni, Abuja
The Federal Ministry of Education has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Oracle Software Nigeria to train 1.5million students of secondary schools and tertiary institutions on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Sonny Echono explained that ICT is a critical area that must be addressed to prepare the youth to take competitive advantage of the 21st century knowledge – driven economy.
He stressed that ICT has become the driver of competitiveness in the world, adding that it redefined efficiency and productivity, and changed the dynamics of the world work.
According to him, ICT has also helped in expanding social networking beyond boarders, introduced new paradigm in education delivery and administration.
‘’Government believes that Nigeria’s education system must prepare its learners for the demand of the 21st century. It must be able to produce middle –level and high- level manpower with the requisite skills and know how needed to play an active role in the country’s drive to prosperity and growth as well as global competitiveness.
‘’In order to demonstrate government’s commitment in that regard, the Ministry developed and is implementing the Ministerial Strategic Plan for the Education sector which has ICT in education as one of its pillars. The ministry has also reviewed the National Policy on ICT in education and developed the National Guidelines for its implementation. In addition, requisite ICT infrastructure and service are being provided in schools and training on ICT is being provided to staff and students,’’ he said.
The PS lamented that the sector is plagued with so many challenges such as inadequate teacher training, poor quality of teachers, poor data for educational planning, lack of tools and equipment for technical and vocational education and many others.
His words, ‘’ Oracle software (Nigeria) limited has offered to introduce Oracle Academy to Senior Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions in the Country; host mapping workshop in conjunction with the Ministry and facilitate a five days teacher training workshop in Java fundamental for lecturer and teachers of Computer Sciences, at no cost to the Ministry , the schools and the teachers.
‘’ Oracle Academy is well known globally for the advancement of Computer Science Education. There is therefore, no doubt that our partnership with you will bring great improvement to the education sector and Nigeria as a whole.
He urged all stakeholders in education to partner with government towards achieving sustainable development and global competitiveness.