Back then, in primary school days, I never heard of a computer – even though it existed!
Then, fast forward to my senior secondary school days, it became a far-off fantasy, because though it existed, I never had the opportunity to use one. THIS was in the ’80s and ’90s!
Fast forward again to my university days, it was definitely a very distant dream (a Personal Computer that is); and that was the most uninteresting, or should I say interesting part of my educational experience with a COMPUTER!
Now, times have changed and not just that a lot of people have access to a computer, people also have access to all sorts of technologies from video games to smart phones, tablets, xbox, and whatever else is out there.
And yet, despite the availability of all these technologies, the standard of education in Nigeria (my dear country) seems to be nose-diving at such an alarming rate.
About two years ago, only 98 (NOT 98%) of students passed the WAEC Physics examination with Credit and above grades in the whole country, SHOCKING?! ALARMING!
So I am beginning to think that if only we can invest in the basic needs of the education of young people, may be – just maybe, that will be better for a developing nation like Nigeria at this point in time, rather than all the dream promises of technology (by those in charge) and the distraction from the task at hand – which it can cause, especially in the classroom (when/if not properly administered).
For me, my ideal classroom basic needs are the following (not necessarily in order of importance):
- clean portable water (if it can be sourced)
- a balanced diet (school lunch)
- appropriately lighted room(that’s a tough one for PHCN!)
- appropriate room temperature
- resourceful and caring teaching staff (close to impossible)
- writing and reading materials (uuuuuhhhhmmm!)
- exploratory play space
- curious and happy pupils (Nigerian kids are eager learners)
- inspiring teachers (I’m beginning to think this is an old school trait)
- and good sanitary facilities (…..no comment…..)
Lastly, I have nothing against technology because I use it daily and I do see and experience the immense benefits it offers, but in a scenario whereby resources are limited, then it’s better to look into the cost-benefit analysis of whatever investment we make.
Abdulghaniy Kayode Otukogbe.
The man who is afraid to risk failure seldom has to face success.