The federal government on Monday launched its Public Service Learning Management System (PSLMS) to further strengthen its resolve to develop capacity and build the integrity of records keeping and information sharing and management in the public sector. This is part of the provisions of the 2017-2020 Federal Government implementation strategy of the ongoing public service reforms, which seeks to eliminate paper filing system and replace it with a computerized civil service data base to take care of all forms of corrupt practices in government business.
Speaking at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN) in Abuja on the e-learning platform, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, said the new platform would assist the federal government in providing capacity building, examination, data management and other services to the Nigerian public service.
She added that the e-learning platform will help in revenue generation to the federal government, reduce the cost of training civil servants, increase the efficiency of the Nigerian Public Service, track staff
development, as well as provide a platform for Nigerians abroad to access information about the public service.
PSIN has demonstrated that the dream of transforming the civil service from cost to revenue generation centres is realisable through singular innovation, arising from the platform that has been launched at no cost to the federal government.
The administrator and chief executive officer of PSIN, Abdul-Ganiyu Obatoyinbo in his submission said, “The platform is populated with over 1,000 courses and has the capacity to take as many users entry as may be required at any given time in the context of education and public service use.”
The Institute has developed e-learning passport to record the courses completed by any officer. This will also help to monitor the capacity building sessions completed by each officer, to ascertain levels of performance.
The revolutionary development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education in the developed countries facilitated the establishment of 100% ICT – based University known as Virtual Universities. Here in Nigeria, very few of our conventional universities are now carrying out their academic activities through one form of ICT or the other, while the urge to embark on e-learning is stil a dream to some because the infrastructure of ICTs is very weak. The rapid expansion of ICTs in Nigeria offers an opportunity to consider its use in the promotion of Distant Education. It offers students considerable benefits including increase access to learning opportunities, convenience of time, and place, making available a greater variety of learning resources, improve opportunities for individualized learning and emergence of more powerful cognitive tools.
Distance Education (DE) is a system of education characterised by physical separation between the teacher and the learner in which instruction is delivered through a variety of media including print and other ICTs to learner who may either have missed the opportunity earlier in life or have been denied the face-to-face formal education due to socio-economic, career, family and other circumstances.
Distance education is the education provided by a mode other than the conventional face-to-face method whose goals are similar to and just as noble and practical as those of on-campus full time face-to-face education.
Nigeria is the most populous nation in sub-Saharan Africa with about 200 million people, occupying a landmass of about 923,768 square kilometers and with over 274 ethnic groups making up the federation.
The social and economic dimensions of providing education for the population, within the context of prevailing national circumstances of dwindling financial and other resources are heavy. The ever-continuing growth in Nigeria’s population, the attendant escalating demand for education at all levels, the difficulty of re-sourcing education through the traditional means of face-to-face classroom bound mode, and the compelling need to provide education for all (EFA) irrespective of environmental, social or cultural circumstances have meant that the country must of necessity find the appropriate and cost effective means to respond adequately to the huge unmet demand for education.
All these emerging situations have signal to the need for a comprehensive search for a more viable, robust, reliable, efficient, and effective online method of all forms of communications in the public sphere.
The implementation strategy of the federal government reforms is achieving the listed modules in phases, though the terminal period to achieve the provisions of the strategic document is 2020, but so much has been put in to fast track the entire process. The task is surmountable and achievable bearing in mind the ability of the institutions that drive the process. The e-learning platform launched by federal government has demonstrated that public institutions, corporations, universities and colleges can now have access to online trainings and distance learning.
The volume of online services provided through this platform will competently address the challenges posed in accessing files and transactions in government business and has demonstrated that some level of progress has been achieved within the short period of the implementation of the strategic document.
– Eze, writes from Abuja