BY SEYIFUNMI LUMEKO
Educational professionals have advised parents in Nigeria to embrace digital learning as a means of getting actively involved in their children’s education.
This was the major takeout from the May edition of Edtech Monday – an initiative of Mastercard Foundation in partnership with ccHub featuring panelists such as the Chief Executive Officer, Gradely, Boye Oshinaga, Founder, Nobelova Gradani PsychoEducational Services, Helen Oshikoya and social entrepreneur, Jadesola Adedeji, moderated by social engineering practitioner, Joyce Daniel.
Speaking at the virtual roundtable, tech entrepreneur, Mr. Boye Oshinaga noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has further proven how effective and valuable technology can be in aiding learning not only among the pupils but also parents. Oshinaga stressed that though it was difficult for parents to adapt to the realities of remote schooling at the initial stage, acceleration in the use of technology in the classroom necessitated the need for them to do so.
He however stated that despite the growing shift to digital learning, data availability remains a major issue and can only be tackled if education technology companies forge a common front by seeking the reduction of the amount of data needed from telecommunication companies, as this will enable them scale the impact as well as learning outcomes.
Also speaking, social entrepreneur, Jadesola Adedeji stated that the pandemic has succeeded in shifting a lot of mindsets including parents’ to explore alternative tools not only to reinforce learning but also to assess the quality of teaching being provided by the teachers.
Whilst acknowledging that both parents and children are now beneficiaries of this paradigm shift Adedeji tasked parents to be cautious with their children by ensuring that there are proper safeguarding tools that prevent them from accessing content, detrimental to their learning.
On her part, the Founder, Nobelova Gradani PsychoEducational Services, Mrs. Helen Oshikoya admitted that it has been a difficult task for most parents to strike a balance between finding economic value and attending to their children’s education and advised parents to continue to be watchful and educate their children on what online content to be exposed to, citing that children with special needs are an example of people who have become victims of abuse. Oshikoya further stated that though harsh economic realities in Nigeria have resulted in parents having reduced time to spend with kids, it was important for them to ensure they are monitoring for a better outcome.
The panelists agreed that there is a need for education technology entrepreneurs to collaborate especially in the area of data sharing on issues around cost to policymakers for a lasting solution making digital learning a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved.