Nigeria Turns to UNESCO on Education Reform to Eliminate ‘Rot’

Nigeria is turning to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for help to overhaul the struggling education system in the country, AllAfrica.com reports. UNESCO will work with local political and education leaders to design a reform plan that will address the unique academic and security challenges facing the country.

The announcement about the combined UN/Nigeria effort came during the official launch of the Tablet of Knowledge (Opon Imo) a program that aims to “shift from the rot” of the education system in the Osun State of Nigeria. Praising the governor of Osun State for the efforts on improving the schools in the area, Professor Hassana Alidou, who was representing UN’s Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura to Nigeria, said that UNESCO will be helping to design a new academic framework that aims to root all discrimination from the education system by 2015.

Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Sola Adeyeye while reading Professor Wole Soyinka’s keynote address challenged the leaders of Nigeria to begin to think towards ensuring that technology is incorporated in every sphere of life.

He described Opon Imo as a ground breaker saying that the students will be proud and be motivated. “I am filled with envy and let it be said that a new drive for knowledge and learning have begun in Osun State.” The Nobel laureate urged the government to spread the initiative to market women, saying, “a new march of knowledge has begun and it should be a new life for education and empowerment.”

Origination of the Tablet of Knowledge, which a piece of education hardware that will become a tool for self-paced study for Osun State students, rests with Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who called it “a dream come true” during his speech at the launch. The tablet will include software that will not only help students pace their learning, it will also provide access to academic materials through an e-library and will even include an electronic testing component.

The virtual classroom category contains 63 e-books covering 17 academic subjects for examinations conducted by WAEC, NECO and JAMB as well as non-academic life-enriching subjects such as History of The Yoruba, Sexuality Education, Civic Education, Ifa on ethics and morals, enterprise education, hints and tips on passing SSCE and ‘How to live a Healthy and Happy life’. This section also contains an average of 16 chapters per subject and 823 chapters in all, with about 900 minutes or 15 hours of audio voice overs.