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27.07.2004 Education

Private sector a must in ICT education

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From Yaa Oforiwaa Acquah, GNA Special Correspondent, Abuja, Nigeria

Abuja, July 27, GNA - The integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the educational system cannot be well implemented without the participation of the Private Sector. Mr Ibrahim Suleman, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) said governments; business and the education sector should work in collaboration and operate as a triangle to achieve success in the initiative.

Mr Suleman was answering questions from the media during a press briefing organised by the Nigerian Ministry of Education as part of the technical session of the three-day Ministerial conference scheduled for Wednesday July 28 to July 30.

ADEA is organising the conference under the theme: "Integration of ICT in Education - Issues, Challenges and Infrastructure."

He said: "We cannot implement any meaningful policy if the governments and for that matter the Ministries of Education decide to leave the business community outside the project. Efficient collaboration with the stakeholders in the triangle would rather yield better results."

For the project to work better, he said, participating countries should rely on existing infrastructure and technical expertise and plan to improve upon them in the future.

For example he said Nigeria was introducing computer literacy in teacher education at all levels and intended to extend the project to other educational institutions.

This initiative would make teachers nationwide ICT literate by the end of the year 2005.

The Nigerian government is currently networking with the private sector to be able to reach her goals. In addition it has introduced education tax to provide funds for the programme.

The main hindrance to this initiative was the non-availability of electricity nationwide, he said, but expressed optimism that the problem could be addressed with the right interventions from all stakeholders.

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