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Lawmaker Lauds Microsoft, Supports Localising Technology-in-Education

peter ugwu
Mohammed Mahmud
Mohammed Mahmud

Mohammed Mahmud, a Nigerian lawmaker has extolled Microsoft’s leadership role (both hardware and software ) in technological revolution in education.

Speaking to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek at the Inaugural BETT Middle East Leadership Forum & Expo, held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council at Intercontinental Abu Dhabi, from 6 to 7 April, said that he will work with other legislators to ensure adequate policies are in place to support the use of technology in teaching and learning in the country.

Bett is the global meeting place for the education technology community. Through a series of world class events, Bett’s mission is to promote the discovery of technology and knowledge to enhance lifelong learning. Bett embraces innovative solutions that inspire, in order to shape and improve the way people learn from the classroom to the boardroom.

Mahmud representing Agaie/Lapai Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives under the umbrella of the All Progressive Congress (APC), said, “Sincerely, the BETT 2016 conference was educative including the principal partner- Microsoft Corporation.

“What we learnt here are eye opening and impactful; as we return home (Nigeria), I will put up a team to assess how we can localize some of the things we learnt here. Truly and as advised by one of the speakers, we may not be able to do everything same time, but we will be doing ourselves a disservice if we don’t act now.

“The team will tropicalize what we have seen here; if there is a need for legislations, we will not hesitate to call the attention of other honourasble members of the House of Representatives to that effect.

Harnessing Relevant Contents to Boost Education in Nigeria
“Let me tell you here, categorically, the Federal Government of Nigeria has directed that data collected by several government agencies be put together in the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC’s) database. At the moment, people may not appreciate what that implies for education in the country, but as technology-in-education becomes more ubiquitous, such data will form very critical content for researches and learning. Whatever technology we are bringing into our education system has to be localized; in such way, our people will benefit from it,” the Honourable said.

He added that government, really, needs to partner with technology providers like Microsoft which has demonstrated enough passion for educational developments in the Middle East and Africa, to be specific.

He said, “Our problems are multifaceted such as lack of adequate power supply, internet connectivity and all that, but I am happy that Microsoft and other service providers are coming up with power efficient devices. At that point, government should ‘cash’ on this and integrate technology into the education system in the country”.

Appropriating More Budgets for Education
He said that education deserves adequate budgetary provision to meet the current needs and help set the youths on the path for global competitiveness.

“Well, it is not actually what I think as a person on appropriating adequate funds for education. The United Nations charter through the UNESCO had advised for specific minimum percentage for education in countries’ budgets. And the present government in Nigeria is giving education a priority compared to other budgets. We believe that subsequent budgets will even benefit education more.

Motivating The Teachers
“Technology does not operate in a vacuum, so to say. Therefore the place of teachers cannot be over emphasized. Through constant training and retraining, improved welfare packages, improved conditions of service and the provision of relevant technologies or gadgets to aid teaching and learning; these are critical in repositioning our education system. The teachers need to be brought to page with the technological advancements in the system. Honestly, any teacher who fails to adapt to technology should be shown the way out of the system”, he said.