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African universities urged to deepen digital education in society

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African universities urged to deepen digital education in society

African universities were on Friday urged to deepen their digital education and make it acceptable to their societies, to achieve desired impact on the society.

Dr Olivier Kuttel, Head of International Affairs of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL, Switzerland, gave the advice in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at the 2022 African Centres of Excellence, ACE, Regional Conference.

The theme of the conference is “Sustainable Integration of Digital Education in the Post Covid-19 Era.”

It was reported that the conference aims at addressing the issues of sustainable and efficient integration of digital technology in education.

The conference also allows exchange of good practices, developed within the centres of competence in digital education.

Kuttel said the biggest impact on digital transformation was COVID-19, adding that online teaching was key for his polytechnic to continue its academic programmes during the pandemic.

He, therefore, called on universities to go digital, taking into cognisance the society they served, adding that if the society did not accept digitisation of teaching, it would not work.

According to him, digital technology has a huge impact on education, research, innovation and the society.

He said with digital technology, they taught, did research, shared results and the impact would  be felt by their society.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said the Commission had developed the blueprint for revitalising education in Nigeria.

He said that after the coming of corona virus, the commission realised it had to rethink its approach to the delivery of instruction by adopting sustainable Integration of digital education.

Rasheed said one of the blueprints was to carry out a comprehensive review of the curriculum, and after four years with over 1,200 academics involved,

He added that the NUC had successfully re-engineered the curriculum of universities.

He disclosed that a memo had been developed by the commission and sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval, noting that the review included the unbundling of some courses.

According to him, Mass Communication has been unbundled into eight new degree programmes that will come on board.

He said that agriculture had also been unbundled into several degree programmes.

He said another committee was set up to develop curriculum on artificial intelligence, stressing that the innovations were due to interactions between the World Bank and the National Universities Commission.

He said for the first time in 20 years, Nigeria had received foreign students from several countries, and those from over 17 countries subscribed to one university alone, courtesy of the ACE programme.

African universities urged to deepen digital education in society

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