Education technology in the COVID-19 response in Nigeria

The findings indicate inadequate policy preparation to support continued basic education and e-learning during a period of prolonged school closures. Although there were policies in place, they did not drive the practice. The steps that the government took to resolve the situation further expanded the disparity in access, with vulnerable groups at the bottom of the pile.

Nigeria must urgently deploy technology to fast-track efforts towards achieving basic education. To close the learning gap in the short term, state governments must deploy low-cost technology such as solar-powered laptops, subsidize internet access, and provide teachers with training on digital literacy. The Federal Ministry of Education must review its policies and practices to accommodate technology-driven basic education delivery.

Federal and state governments should document lessons from the COVID-19 experience and use the experience to plan for better coordinated and seamless learning continuity in times of crisis. Besides exposing the failings in Nigeria’s education system, the school closures have also provided opportunities for investing in the local production of low-cost educational devices like tablets and computers and establishing regional educational radio and television stations. The government must use these opportunities to improve basic education for all, now and in the future.

Partners/Funders: EdTech Hub, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)