Senate tasks FG on comprehensive computer education

July 16, 2019
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The Senate on Tuesday asked the Federal Government to urgently address the issue of computer education in the country.

The upper chamber said that the Federal Government should provide comprehensive training for teachers and pupils in primary and secondary schools.

It also advised government at all levels to formulate policy for building and equipping of computer laboratories for pupils in primary schools.

The measure, it said, would to give the pupils sound foundation and training in computer education.

The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion by Senator Akom Etim Eyakenyi (Akwa Ibom South) and 34 others.

Senator Eyakenyi in her lead debate said that the National Policy on Education recognised the importance of computer education and ICT by providing for the training of teachers and provisions of basic facilities for teaching computer knowledge in primary and secondary schools.

She noted that though the Senate was aware that computer education was being taught in schools across the country, ” it is a practical subject that must be practised for effective understanding”.

Most public schools, she said, lacked teachers in computer education while the basic facilities to properly teach children in primary and secondary schools computer were also lacking.

Eyakenyi said “almost all aspects of Nigerian and global sectors are now ICT based and our future generations are not being prepared for the future”, reminding that education, (inclusive of computer education), is a fundamental right”.

In his contribution, Senator Godiya Akwasiki (Nasarawa North), reminded his colleagues that Section 21(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) states that government should provide science and technology education for schools in the country.

Akwasiki said: “Even in Rwanda, the government has initiated one laptop computer per child and if the principle of this current government is to move the nation to the next level,  then, science and technology education is key.”

Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom North East), said that pupils of private schools were better off in computer education, adding that private schools pay attention to computer education than public schools.

He said, “In private primary schools for instance, pupils already know how to operate computer,  but not public schools and now that we are in a global world,  computer education is important in our public schools.”

Former Education Minister, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano Central), recalled challenges faced by Nigerians when JAMB introduced Computer Based Education, (CBE) between 2014 to 2015.

He noted that JAMB candidates subjected themselves to computer training when it was obvious that the examination body insisted.

He added that proprietors of private schools should ensure that they employed teachers who were computer literate.

“The idea of computer education is good for our pupils.  I recalled when I was Minister of Education between 2014 and 2015, JAMB introduced CBE and candidates were compelled to learn computer.”

Today they have become used to Computer Based Education.”

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said that the National Council on Education should ensure the implementation of computer education policy.

He promised that the Senate would through legislation, address funding of computer education in Nigeria.

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