Nigerian govt begins construction of 37 ‘smart schools’

NEWS DIGEST – The Federal Government has begun construction of 37 “smart schools” across the country to boost Information Communication Technology, ICT.

The Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, disclosed that the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic led to construction of 37 model smart Schools.

Mr Bobboyi noted that the Smart Schools were designed in categories to boost the use of Information Communication Technology, ICT, for teaching and learning.

He added that the project had an “estimated cost of N350, 000 per school for the state model while the Zonal model with more capacity and ICT infrastructure would cost 600 million to serve each of the six geopolitical zones in the country.”

He explained that the smart schools were at the completion stages, adding that, “the plan is that before the end of this year, most, if not all would commence academic activities.”

Mr Bobboyi explained that during the COVID-19 lockdown, learners all over the country were at home and could not attend classes, adding that the ongoing project was response to the new normal.

According to him, it is necessary to prepare for any situation that can disrupt the teaching and learning process.

He stressed that digital and e- learning platforms provide opportunities for teachers and learners without the constraint of time and space.

Bobboyi noted that the deployment of technology for instructional delivery would significantly increase the quality of basic education.

“It is my expectation that the standard we are jointly setting up would be sustained and improved upon so as to meet the schools objectives”, he said.

The UBEC boss thanked Governor Mohammed Badaru of Jigawa  for approving land for the project and also granting UBEC permission to organise the ground breaking.

He also thanked the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for his effort in transforming Nigeria’s digital landscape and support.

NAN