Nigeria Gets N13.5bn from Korea for Teachers’ Digital Skills

February 2, 2024
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By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria has attracted N13.5 billion ($10.4 million) in funding from South Korea for its new teacher development programme, the Teacher Internship Scheme (TIS), designed to support teachers with skills and knowledge in digital technology.

The Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, noting that the federal government is committed to providing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to enhance teaching and learning in the country.

The Minister welcomed the funding from the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), saying the scheme, put together by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), was geared towards helping in the implementation of smart education in the country.

He also inspected a facility by the UBEC Digital Resource Centre and said it would serve as a hub for creating and distributing resources to schools as well as training the school personnel.

According to him, ICT has dominated every spectrum of life and Nigeria must make a paradigm shift from the traditional method of teaching children using blackboard and chalk.

He commended the Executive Secretary UBEC, Mr Hamid Bobboyi and his management team for the initiative, noting that one could not be talking of the quality of education without teachers with the right skills and knowledge to drive the teaching profession.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Mr Bobboyi, explained that participants of the teacher Internship scheme were graduates of education selected on merit from all the states of the federation.

He said the teachers were expected to go through intensive training for two years.

“It is envisaged that at the end of the two-year programme, the Interns would emerge as a new breed of teachers, equipped with the skills and knowledge to harness the power of technology and transform the learning experience.

“They would not just be teachers; they will be smart teachers who would be innovators, catalysts for change, and architects of a brighter future for the Nigerian child,” he said.

Mr Bobboyi stressed that the traditional method of teaching and learning was no longer adequate to prepare learners for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

He, therefore, underscored the need to expose Nigerian teachers to digital platforms and pedagogies for them to rise to the challenge of preparing the next generation of children to survive and thrive in a globalised and competitive world.

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic had laid bare the vulnerabilities of the traditional education system and brought to the fore the need to explore an alternative mode that enables learning to take place anytime and anywhere.

On his part, the Country Director, KOICA, Nigeria Office, Mr Son Sungil, confirmed the $10.4 million budget to support Nigeria in the establishment of Smart Schools in the country.

He said the support was largely in the areas of digital content development for mathematics and science subjects, content development studio for digital content creation, and others.

He further pledged the commitment of KOICA to continue to work with UBEC and other stakeholders to make the future better for Nigerian children.

The scheme was introduced by the commission to address the dearth of teachers in the field of smart education.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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