Invest in the digital resources needed to advance girls' education

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Invest in the digital resources needed to advance girls' education
Invest in the digital resources needed to advance girls' education

Stakeholders in the field of educational technology are encouraged to invest in digital resources to improve the quality of girls' education. That was the topic of conversation in the October issue of EdTech Monday, an initiative of The MasterCard Foundation in partnership with the Co-Creation Hub.  The virtual roundtable was moderated by social engineering expert, Joyce Daniel, whose panelists included Country Program Director, UN Women Nigeria, Patience Ekeoba, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google, Temilade Adelakun, Former Commissioner of Education at Akwa Ibom State, Eunice Thomas and a University of Benin undergraduate, Oseme Eigbodion. 

Participants noted that worldwide, there is growing interest in implementing technology in the education sector. They note that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the use of digital technologies in education while revealing staggering gender gaps in access to and use of digital technologies worldwide. According to them, digital learning offers a great opportunity to bridge the digital gender gap and provide a quality education for every girl. During the roundtable on the topic: "Advancing girls' education through digital learning", Thomas said it was necessary to address unconscious biases towards girls to ensure that digital learning becomes possible and enjoyable. With the world going digital, now is the time for Nigerian girls to understand the importance of digital learning for their overall development. She said that, although there are challenges surrounding the implementation of policies in the education sector, the solution lies in the coordination of stakeholders to monitor and evaluate implementation. 

In her remarks, Adelakun said government and other stakeholders have an important role to play in eradicating gender stereotypes and facilitating access to digital learning for girls. “We need to promote gender-sensitive digital teaching and learning. We need to invest in being able to learn about girls' digital reality and ensure that learning solutions fit into their digital world. We need to make sure that our curriculum incorporates 24th-century skills,” says Adelakun.

In addition, Ekeoba identifies the high cost of digital education, online bullying, negative cultural or social norms, and ignorance as some of the challenges to improving the digital learning of girls.  While calling on the government to invest in digital learning, she urges tech entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to introduce user-friendly technology as this will be of great help in supporting digital learning girls. "We need a lot of investment if we want our girls to be digitally savvy. We need to dedicate more resources to improving girls' education about digital learning. We need to expand the curriculum instruction in local languages ​​to help learners understand more. We need educated parents to be able to manage their fears about how best to deal with risks associated with learning digital training and capacity building for teachers,” she said.