What Educational Technology can do for Teachers in the Nigeria

If the instructional designers can develop highly effective instructional resources, then some of the teacher’s time can be utilized on the emotional, social, moral and psychological development of the children. It can hardly be disputed that a significant level of technical and procedural advancement has been witnessed in almost all the professions and fields in human endeavor. Mechanization, division of labor, сиалис and automation have invariably led to better ways of doing things, reduced cost of services and quicker results. The era when one man carried out all the work in his cottage industry, with the attendant inefficiency it generated, is gone.

Outsourcing has now become the highest stage of specialization. Here, series of tasks in a particular field are carried out by individuals including those living in different countries. For this reason, that model of division of labor and specialization of functions proposed by Adam Smith more than two hundred years ago now looks like a medieval catch -phrase. These days, a medical doctor in Bangalore can instantly make use of ICT scan done by a radiologist in far -away New York. Most of the information that go into air travel, sea transport, weather forecast, disease control and even national security are the product of a scattered network of people, ideas and resources.

The teaching profession in Nigeria stands as a conspicuous exception. In this country, a teacher is still several things rolled into one: instructor, examiner, disciplinarian, administrator and lots more. This challenge is made more complex by the unwholesome condition of working the profession. In fact, the fate of the Nigerian teacher can be equated with the idea of being asked to make bricks without straw. This happens when teachers are mandated to perform a wide range of functions within a very limited time and with practically insufficient resources. As if this is not discouraging enough, teachers have again been required to cover up for the limited supply of instructional resources by resorting to improvisation. We are therefore left to wonder how much improvisation can be accomplished by teachers already strapped by limited finance and strained by inadequate resources.

Another reason Nigerian teachers are unable to overcome the above challenge can be summed up in three points: One is that a good number of teachers in Nigeria (that is when the permanent, semi- permanent and temporary ones are all taken into account) include members of the National Youth Service Corps, non-graduate teachers and graduate teachers with no teacher training. Two is that teacher training tends to give little space to educational technology as a percentage of the overall teacher education programme.

Mention should be made of the largely theoretical content of the course, and the fact that practical work in education technology laboratory is a mirage for teacher trainees in most institutions. The third reason has earlier been hinted when the issue of giving multiple responsibilities to the teacher was mentioned. Anyone with sufficient knowledge of the Nigerian classroom would not argue the fact that the time mapped out for teaching is grossly disproportionate to the multifarious tasks of writing lesson plan, making notes for the class, making test items, conducting and grading periodic tests, managing the classroom, delivering lessons, disciplining students outside the classroom and carrying out other extra-curricular and administrative functions. Yet teachers are still expected to make out time and improvise instructional materials for use in the classroom.

One way of confronting this problem is by taking the burden of producing instructional materials and devising instructional methods away from teachers. It will be wrong to assume that this will make teachers passive actors in the teaching and learning experience. It is even more correct to state that when the task of instructional materials design is performed by an entirely different agency, teachers would have enough time to handle the conventional duty of lesson delivery as well as seeing to the comprehensive development of learners.

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