Oando Foundation, Sumitomo Chemical renew commitment to ICT education
To ensure pupils in public schools are not left behind in the rapid advancement of technology, Oando Foundation (OF), an independent charity, and Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese Chemical Company have renewed their commitment to improve Information and Communications Technology (ICT) learning in the foundation’s adopted primary schools across the country.
This is being achieved through the establishment of solar-powered ICT centres in public schools. The overall aim of the collaboration is to improve access to quality basic education for pupils in public schools.Head, Oando Foundation, Adekanla Adegoke, who spoke at the unveiling of the newly established solar-powered ICT centre at Dele Ajomale Primary School, Ilasa, Lagos, said the partnership which commenced in 2016, via the foundation’s flagship ‘adopt-a-school’ initiative, has impacted the lives of over 2,400 children; bridging the existing gap in the implementation of ICT in public schools and empowering pupils with technology skills.
She said ICT education was included in the Nigerian primary school curriculum in 1999 by the National Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), but the gap in its implementation is still evident. While most children in rural areas do not have access to a computer, Adegoke said, three out of every five children in urban areas lack basic ICT skills. To reverse this negative trend, the foundation has to date established 46 ICT/creative centers in its adopted schools, serving the learning needs of over 20,000 pupils.
She said, “At the most basic level being able to navigate around a computer is an essential skill for today’s Nigerian youth. In the work place having ICT skills is an imperative thus students need to be comfortable and able to use technology not just for more effective learning but so they are able to stand alongside their peers globally in the 21st century.
“The resultant effect has been the establishment of 46 ICT centers across Nigeria. This is part of our mandate of exposing pupils in our adopted schools with 21st century ICT capabilities geared towards arming them with requisite knowledge to compete favorably in an ever dynamic world. It will also strengthen the capacity of in-school ICT educators ensuring improved knowledge transfer and successful implementation of the national curriculum on ICT.”
President & CEO of Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc. and a member of the company’s sustainability promotion committee, Scott Mitchell, said the company has been working with local partners to build infrastructure that would benefit the society.“Through our education support programmes, we hope to contribute to the upbringing of our next global leaders. In particular, we recognize the importance of ICT literacy programmes for children from an early age.”
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