By Faith Igbudu
Team Lead, Benue State e-Learning/Virtual Education and ICT Resource Centre (BESEVIC), Terwase Gbande has reiterated the state government’s commitment to inoculate and boost digital literacy at all levels of education.
He made this known in an interview with The Voice at BESEVIC office in Makurdi.
Gbande explained that the state government has demonstrated this by bearing 80% cost implication of the hard and software of the package on behalf of schools in Benue.
He said the gesture is to ensure that every Benue child in this contemporary age is well equipped to face the outside world upon graduation.
He said the e-library, smart learning platforms, resource management system and the school management system are part of packages that BESEVIC is poised to offer schools who will link up to the platform.
“The Benue state government has already taken 80% of the cost of the hard and software infrastructure aimed at digitalizing education, all you need do is connect and have access to e-Learning. For example the e-library for your school. The smart learning platforms, the resource management systems and the school management systems all are imbedded in the services we are going to be providing.
“This are services that ordinarily, if a school wants to have access to will need to spend millions to get it. But with what the state government is offering, it is very minimal, all you need is connectivity. Schools will just need to pay a token to get connected but once you are connected, you will not be expected to pay for subscription. It is the job of the state government to ensure that this services are there for you round the clock every day to access,” Gbande added.
The team lead hinted that with a mandate from the state Ministry of Education, plans are underway for BESEVIC to design an electronic version of the educational curriculum for each class on each subject, including their lesson notes and plans.
According to him, the development will afford all learners the content they need and their lessons for personal tutorials at all times.
Gbande said the agency is two years down the line and has achieved much in terms of creating awareness, advocacy and trainings on digital literacy across the state.
He said the level of coordination at the agency earned it recommendation from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which is at the fore front of implementing the e-Learning passport in Nigeria. The e-Learning passport is both an online and offline resource platform that came on board as a result of COVID-19 and post COVID-19 intervention approach.
“Within this two years, a lot has been achieved. We are able to integrate Benue State education sector at the national level and with the introduction of e-Learning passport by UNICEF, Global Partnership for Education and Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE), BESEVIC has become an e-Learning model for the nation.
“FMoE has provided us with almost 50gb storage space on their e-cloud where we have been able to save digital content.
“So far we have been able to train teachers effectively in all the schools under Science and Technical Education Board (STEB), we have done same for teachers under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in four local governments and counting
“We were able to conduct three workshops in digital literacy and the e-Learning passport implementation in the state.
“We were able to appoint e-Learning desk officers in all the schools in Benue State with the aim to institutionalise e-Learning into the school system to see that stakeholders buy into digital literacy,” he stated.
As to why BESEVIC went on facilatation visits to Bayelsa and Cross River states, Gbande explained that the team for e-learning passport came for on the spot assessment at BESEVIC for the implementation of the e-learning passport, and Benue State was rated one of the best because of infrastructure, the support and coordination of the programme.
“With the appraisal, UNICEF felt that Benue has the capacity to support their training on digital literacy, resilience and remote learning strategies in Cross River and Bayelsa, that was why we sent a team of facilitators to these states,” he added.