FG partners with Korea for smart schools and e-learning development

The federal government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), has sealed a partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on building 37 smart schools and improving e-learning in Nigeria.

The Smart Schools program began in 2017, when the current UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, established smart schools to serve as benchmarks of excellence in the country.

This was further reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, where educational institutions were closed for several months with no learning taking place in most parts of the country, due to lack of access to learning platforms. online learning.

UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, noted that UBEC is collaborating with KOICA in the creation of smart schools, which is expected to boost e-learning in Nigeria.

The Korean delegation was led by KOICA Country Representative Son Sungil.

Bobboyi revealed that teaching and learning would soon begin at the 37 smart schools being built across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The boss of UBEC, represented by the deputy director of services, Dr. Isiaka Kolawole, noted that the Korean team of experts will provide expertise in the operation of smart schools.

According to him, the Smart Schools (UBEC Model Schools) “will serve as centers of distinction in ICT-enabled teaching and learning and provide a benchmark of excellence so that States and the FCT can replicate according to their needs. individuals”. .

He explained that the contract for the construction of the first and second phases of the model schools in some states of the Federation has been awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), noting that all construction works in the project sites have ceased following to the advent of COVID -19 pandemic.

He however disclosed that the federal government is now in the midst of preparations to begin teaching and learning activities in smart schools, saying the delegation was in the country for the initial month-long period to provide the support. necessary for the provision of infrastructure. , content development and teacher training, among others.

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He revealed that nine of the 37 smart schools had been completed while the rest were in various stages of completion.

He said: “I am pleased to inform you that out of the 37 model smart schools being built across the Federation, nine have been completed, another 15 are expected to be completed by the end of this month and the remaining 13 are expected to also be completed in the coming months.

“Our relationship with KOICA has been very close and cordial over the past few years. It started with the establishment of the Nigerian Korean Model School, Abuja, and was greatly enhanced when UBEC declared its intention to create smart schools to which KOICA is committed to provide maximum assistance in all aspects of the project.

“Since then, KOICA has been involved in several program activities, including content development and training course design,” he said.

UBEC project coordinator Dr. Bashir Galadanci noted that the delegation was long overdue to provide technical support as teaching and learning would start in some schools in a few months.

He added that academic activities would have started in the next school term, but needed to be slightly shifted to allow room for the installation of equipment and the necessary training of teachers.

The Project Manager, KOICA, Professor Dae Joon Hwang, reiterated KOICA’s commitment to continue supporting Nigeria in efforts to improve the delivery of quality education in the country.

Norma A. Roth