Digitization: TETFund spends N27.6bn on ICT intervention programmes in tertiary institutions – Echono

Mr. Sonny Echono, Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has stated that the Fund has spent approximately N27.6 billion on ICT support intervention programs in the country’s tertiary institutions over the last seven years.

He made the remarks on Tuesday in Lagos, while delivering the convocation speech at the 26th convocation event of Lagos State University, LASU.

The theme of the lecture was “The impact of digitization on higher education in a digital age.”

Echono also disclosed that the Fund has set up a National Knowledge Bank where theses of beneficiaries of its programmes would be stored in digital form for easy accessibility from anywhere in the world.

Echono noted that the use of ICT is not limited to adopting it in the payment of fees, but that it would help many people have access to education among many other possibilities and advantages.

“Graduates now need a mix of skills more than in the past. Incidentally, most of the skills are hinged on digital literacy. Some companies have left the country because of the lack of people with the basic skills required in their sectors despite the high rate of unemployment in the country.

”To drive this home, 87 percent of McKinsey Global Survey respondents say they experience such skill gap too. The challenges of higher education are similar across other nations. We must review our curriculum and ensure that as we give people technical knowledge, we also give them real-life business practices to guide them in life.

We have developed a digital literacy roadmap, as there is the urgent need to reimagine our education system and review our curriculum periodically, as we experience changes in the world daily,” he said.

The TETFund boss added that the organisation tripled its allocations to ICT projects in the last few years, a development that led to over 19,000 people being trained in digital literacy across the institutions.
Reeling the advantages of digitization of teaching and learning, Echono said it would reduce cost, increase access to education, and improve efficiency among others.

The Chairman of the event, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said two revolutions started globally about two decades ago and were changing the ways people live.

He listed them to be Digital and Genetic Revolutions, with the former driving the latter.

The NUC boss said a comprehensive review of the curriculum in Nigerian universities had been done by the Commission.

In her address, the Vice Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said the university, by organising such lectures, intend to provoke debate about topical issues.

She commended the convocation lecturer and the NUC boss for their efforts at supporting tertiary education in the country.

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