Posted by News Express | 6 April 2018 | 1,546 times
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organistaion (UNESCO) on Thursday said knowing how to read and write without knowledge of computer was synonymous with illiteracy.
Mr Ydo Yao, the Regional Director of UNESCO made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the National Launch of the 2017/2018 Global Education Monitoring Report in Abuja.
The theme of the report: “Accountability in Education: Meeting our Commitments’’ is targeted at informing policymakers of approaches to accountability and share evidence based recommendations.
The report is also aimed at facilitating connections and encourages collaborations among education actors to improve the effectiveness of accountability and education.
“Today if you know how to read and write and you don’t master computer, you are illiterate. We are advocating so that governments will take measures to promote the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in education.
“We also know that the development of a country is based on ICT. The mastery of technology is very important,” Yao said.
“UNESCO has taken a lot of measures and actions to promote the use of computer in education.
“We are advocating so that all government take action for learners to master new technologies in education.’’
The director said that UNESCO would work assiduously with governments with support from donors to have Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) policies “that are elaborate, implementable and result oriented’’.
He added that actualising the measures would stimulate interest in more people to study STEM subjects.
Yao said that the organisation was laying emphasis on girls in Africa and in Nigeria to access STEM.
He said however that Nigeria had invested a lot in terms of education provision but more work needed to be done.
“We still have 10 million children out of school, which means that in spite of all the actions and efforts, the challenge still persists.
“We need to double efforts, mobilise partners to back government to make it happen.”
Mr Terry Durnnian, the Chief Education Officer United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria said that education, especially STEM education required the use of objects around humans to teach.
“The challenge in teaching STEM is that people think that you need all the tools but it requires starting from the basics.
“Natural science is all about teaching with objects in your community and that stimulates children’s creativity.
“Science comes from children asking questions and being inquisitive.”
Durnnian said that Nigeria had challenges in education but the government was taking steps to address them, adding that evidence based planning would ensure accountability in education.
According to him, states need to align themselves into fostering education plans by the Federal Government.
He said children out of school were being disenfranchised, lacked hope and opportunity to participate in the society.
Mr Saidou Jallow, the Senior Programme Specialist, Education UNESCO said that clear accountability could help meet education commitment and ensure the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal Four.
Jallow urged government to create space for meaningful engagement with multiple stakeholders and the parliament to review education policy.
He said that 60 per cent of teachers unions were never or rarely consulted on teaching material development.
“The government should develop education plans and transparent budget, establish, monitor, enforce regulations, and standards for the success of education.
“Government should be transparent, provide relevant, timely information and be committed to funding of education.
“The government should be supportive, build capacity where needed and set up strong institutions to detect and deter corruption in education,” he said.
Jallow said four per cent of the Gross Domestic Product should be invested in education to ensure quality delivery.
NAN reports that Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) has 10 targets encompassing many different aspects of education.
They include universal primary and secondary education, early childhood development and universal pre-primary education, gender equality and inclusion among others, all to be achieved by 2030.
UNESCO will also launch the report in Liberia on April 16. (NAN)
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