Covid-19: NAPS urges Private Sector, Govt. to Invest more in Education

By Deborah Odekola | Ibadan

The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), has called on Private Sectors and Government at all levels to increase investment in Education Sector of the Country.

In a statement by the NAPS National President, Comrade Olalere Benedict Adetunji on Monday, May 4th, 2020, said considering the level that the outbreak of Covid-19 may affect the economy, there is a need for more funds to be invested in the education sector in order to avoid unprecedented issues.

The statement read: “Covid 19 will leave no sector in Nigeria unaffected, and its Consequences will be felt for years to come.

“At a time when huge efforts were being deployed to transform and improve higher education in Nigeria, there is danger that Covid 19 will destabilize the Sector with serious Consequences.”

Outline some of his observation since the outbreak of the infection, the NAPS President said ” At the earliest period of the outbreak, Nigeria like most other countries had no choice but to close higher Institutions as part of her preventive measures to contain the spread of the infection. Leaving the institution at the mercy on the use of Information Technology (ICT) to deliver their programmes online at a distance to their enrolled Students. However the ICT process has laid bare a digital divide within the country, between those Institutions that have better ICT infrastructure than others, between Institutions within the same region, with some being far better equipped and experienced than others, and between students within the same Institution – the rich who live in urban areas and the poor who live in rural areas who can barely afford to access the Internet, when and if it is available.

“Its true that the Crisis has provided and opportunity to tertiary Institutions to quickly improve and maximize their ICT operations.

“Meanwhile, majority of the tertiary institutions don’t have the capacity to fully deliver programmes online. While some are battling with Infrastructural issues, others are concerned availablity of other resources as well as reach to the targeted students.

He said “It is a fallacy to believe that online learning can be effective by merely posting a lecturers note online or having a vedio recording of the lecture, Yet this is what is generally happening at present.

The most affected programmes will be science and Technology as Students will be unable to access laboratories for their practical . science and Technology programmes are the ones that are most important for Nigeria Development.

“Hence there is need for Investment and serious concern from both Government and Private Sector into Educational in Nigeria.

“There is Critical need in Education sector , especially in the area of Online Learning, the approach must be holistic and involve all Stakeholders, including private sector and Government, there is need to set up a task force on higher Education under the Ministry of Education, NBTE, etc” Adetunji added

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