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FG: Digital literacy necessary for operators

Dr Isa Pantami
Dr Isa Pantami

By Stella Enenche, Abuja

The federal government has underscored the importance of digital literacy in the country, saying people who utilise digital space technology must be literate.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, made the declaration, Tuesday, at the closing ceremony of EduTech summit organised by the African Information Technology Exhibition (AFRITEX), in Abuja.

The minister, who was represented by the Director of ICT in the ministry, Samuel Okoye, disclosed that the federal government was formulating policies for the advancement of the critical sector.

According to Pantami: “The first thing we need to address is putting up developmental policies and regulations that will motivate the sector. Presently we have some of them. And we are also reviewing and harmonising some of these regulations and if necessary new ones
will be added.That is one of the first obstacles that be addressed

“Another issue that needs to be addressed is digital literacy. People that utilize the digital space must be digital literate.

“Thirdly, we need to consider the solid infrastructure. Talking about solid infrastructure we need to bridge the digital gap. We need to deepen broad band penetration.

“The fourth challenge we need to address and we are addressing is service infrastructure. How robust are our digital platforms. This digital platforms are what the digital learning will supervise. What platforms are schools and institutions be using, those are hindrances that needs to be addressed if we are going to press the fast forward button.

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“The fifth is digital services development. What are our small IT companies doing, we need to promote and support them. We also need to patronize them. Digital economy strategy has mapped out strategies on how to promote these small and medium ICT enterprises”.

He said the desire of.government, was for citizens to be confident whenever they worked on their systems, even as he added that the issue of cyber theft and cyber insecurity, will be addressed at this Pilar of soft infrastructure.

His words: “We are also addressing the issue of digital societies and emerging technologies. The technology if today will the different from the one of tomorrow we need to move at the pace of the global chains.

“We are promoting the issue of indigenous content and adoption. We want to promote the indigenous content developed by Nigerians.

Also speaking, the DG of NITDA, described the theme of the summit as apt and timely, more so that the coronovirus disease was creating a global learning crisis.

The DG, who was represented by Dr Collins Agu, Director Corporate Strategy, NITDA, said:

“As you are all aware the COVID-i9 Coronovirus global pandemic is creating a global learning crisis in addition to a global health crisis with 82% of the world’s learners no longer in traditional schooling or education programs, UNESCO is recommending online learning and the use of education technology to reach learners, underlining the strategic role Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays in education.

“The fourth industrial revolution characterized by the fusion of the digital, biological and physical worlds is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence(AI), robotics, virtual reality (VR), cloud computing and 3D printing etc are changing the way we live and work.

“Whilst technological advancements are undoubtedly increasing productivity, concerns over job losses due to automation ore rife. The World Economic Forum predicts net job growth overall, with as many as four new roles emerging for each rote lost.

“Without bold reforms in education through the introduction of Education Technology and clear policies to guide us through, many people will lock the necessary skills to fill these new positions in the future economies and societies that are anticipated to be fundamentally different”.

Earlier, the lead consultant, AFRITEX, Oyesola, Oworu, observed that: “..the world is moving COVID has brought us to a standstill. We need to improve in the use of online resources.

“It has created a new world era to teaching and learning.
Learners can learn more and teachers can be more efficient using the technological resources available for teaching and learning”.

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