Institutions have been urged to prioritise digital learning skills through technology-driven careers.
ICT experts made the call in a discussion to mark the 2022 World Literacy Day.
This year’s celebration with the theme: “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces,” focuses on the need to prioritise digital-skilling efforts in academic institutions for a sustainable future.
According to an ICT expert, Henry Ojo, the 21st Century is constantly evolving due to factors including technology and e-learning and being able to pivot careers in the rapidly changing world is paramount.
He reiterated that in line with these rapid changes, more young people are opting for a future-oriented education instead of traditional courses.
“In the increasingly interconnected world where artificial intelligence, big data, metaverse and other technological advancements have become a norm, developing the education sector to focus on these principles that will affect the economic future of the society only makes sense,” he stated.
Another ICT expert, John Odo explained that a recent report by the World Economic Forum stated that the “schools of the future” is one where content and learning experiences that provide both hard skills and soft skills are redefining the education systems.
The report further explained that education models must adapt to equip children with the skills to create a more inclusive, cohesive and productive world.
According to ICT professionals, the report emphasised the need to intervene with skills development initiatives such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics) from early childhood and empower educators with relevant digital skills.
“As globalisation and rapid technological advances continue to transform our corporate and personal world, innovative and growth-driven organisations continue to invest in digital skills development initiatives to empower the next generation.
“With a specific focus on the 4th UN Sustainable Development Goal (quality education), we have seen companies engage in curriculum and extra curriculum activities to upskill teachers and students. UNSDG Goal 4, which focuses on quality education, is indispensable to attaining sustainable development.
“Exploring out-of-school learning and alternative models of quality education is necessary to nurture and equip children with the relevant skills they need to thrive in the 21st-century workforce.
“TechQuest STEM Academy, a non-profit technology education provider, through a recent partnership with IHS Nigeria, launched a programme to improve digital literacy and STEM in Nigeria by building digital capabilities of teachers to arm young people with in-demand skill sets.
“During the previous engagements, the initiative has ensured teachers’ training, classroom engagement, and problem-solving skills, which were delivered during a technovation challenge, tech entrepreneurship and idea incubation dedicated to improving the integration of the STEM app into Nigeria’s education system.
“Recognising the importance of incorporating the STEM curriculum into the Nigerian education system, the Mission-T initiative was launched. Through the Mission-T initiative, IHS Nigeria has directly impacted over 52,000 students and over 3,000 teachers in all states in Nigeria over the past four years with the digital skills they need in preparation for future of work.
“The impactful initiative also led to the creation of the Mission-T App, one of Nigeria’s first teaching software applications. Mission-T App provides indigenous STEM and ICT content to secondary school teachers across the country. With courses spanning Digital Electronics (Basic-Advanced), Web Development, Web Design, Scratch programming, Computer Science, Mobile App Development, CS Unplugged and Robotics, the Mission-T app bridges relevant digital skills gap and the country’s academic curriculum in classrooms.
“To further ensure the integration of these digital academic skills, more organisations and government bodies must leverage partnerships to prepare the next generation for the future of work,” the report indicated.