ICT Integration into the Kano State Schools Curriculum
BASHIR A. MUZAKKARI
Senior Special Assistant on ICT
to the Executive Governor of Kano State
ICT is technology that supports activities involving information. Such activities include gathering, processing, storing and presenting data. Increasingly these activities also involve collaboration and communication. Hence IT has become ICT: information and communication technology.
ICT is the mean to communicate information through various means including audio-video recordings, digital data storage devices and internet etc. When it comes to educating students through ICT it needs to be an organized effort i.e. its roles, outcomes and involvements should be determined.
‘Integration of ICT in schools is intended “to improve student learning, to offer flexible learning opportunities and to improve the efficiency of their business practices” (Toomey, 2001). The first two points can closely relate to ICT curriculum integration.’
This is an age of advancements in very quick manner and even twenty five years old syllabus in primary school seems backward and outdated. So, in order to stay in hunt of latest information and knowledge and copping with the need of quick learning with practical knowledge, the technology should come into play in order to stay at the course of remaining updated.
Expected Achievements of ICT Integration in Kano state Schools’ Curriculum:
There are numerous tangible and intangible benefits rather advantages with ICT in our local educational body for instance, it can increase the level of information and understanding by many folds. In Kano once ICT is fully integrated in our education and curriculum then we can build strong economy and high literacy level.
- By using ICT in KERD curriculum the education can be more systematic and will establish connection between the school and the rest of the world expands and enhance the learning environment to work and compete with borderless and complex world.
- Students will develop competencies in accessing, analyzing and applying information, and develop habits of independent learning (learner centered approach).
- ICT-based learning methods will develop creative thinking ability in students and inculcate work as a team player to cooperate with one another and to take right decisions.
- ICT-based teaching and learning approaches will offer opportunities for designing new curricula and new methods of assessment to meet educational objectives.
- Access to online data and information will also support effective decision-making at all levels.
- ICT has a potential for extending opportunities in formal and non-formal education to scattered and rural populations at anytime and anywhere through ICT based educational delivery methods (Radio, TV, Teleconferencing and Videoconferencing etc.,).
- Students and Teachers need not only depend on printed books and materials in libraries for their educational needs.
- Through ICT, valuable learning materials can be accessed from all corners of the world by an unlimited number of people. This is particularly significant for schools in Kano state.
- ICT also facilitate access to educational resource persons like consultants, subject specialist, researchers, professionals and professors from all over the world.
- ICT integration in our curriculum will enhance the quality of education in several means. It will increase learner motivation and engagement through multimedia software lessons, songs, and comic skits, interactive video presentations, and forces and involve students in learning process.
Radio and TV broadcasting have been great potential to use as education tools as a substitute for teacher in temporary basis and used as a complementary teaching and learning process.
Once the state has advanced ICT infrastructure, it will enable virtual, digital and open cyber universities to foster lifelong learning, vocational education, Internet-based, e-learning and in-service training, and distance education courses on cost effective manner, without diminishing universal quality in education.
ICT integration in curriculum itself is learning through computers and Internet combines learning about them with learning with them.
Use of computers, the Internet, and related technologies, given sufficient training and support, can indeed facilitate the transformation of the learning environment into a learner-centered one in our Education system.
Challenges in Integrating ICT:
Previous information communication technologies have penetrated deep into the society and hence are often very cost effective; teachers in Kano often use no more than a blackboard and chalk to pass on information about any subject to the students. Printed papers in the form of books, magazines or newspapers have become a part of daily routine of any educated citizen, as are broadcast media such as radio and television Power needs, physical space and connectivity issues are also factors that add to the challenge of getting these technologies to take root in developing countries like Nigeria.
Most of the rural area schools in Nigeria facing lack of physical and technical infrastructure, and facilities to support ICT. PoorSchool buildings, limited electricity supply and poor telecommunication links are major problems.
Capacity- building at different areas like teacher professional developments, technical support specialist development and content developers development are really challenging in Nigeria due to budget constraints and inadequate policies for education.
Nigeria’s one of the greatest challenges in integrating ICT in education is striking a balance between educational aspirations with economic realities. ICT integration in education projects requires large capital investments to harvest universal quality education at grass root levels.
Computer Studies is an optional subject at some higher secondary level (and unavailable at some) but it is yet to make an impact. There is no curriculum for computer studies below secondary level. To the best of my knowledge, only a very few schools are effectively implementing computer studies for higher secondary school students mostly private schools.
Ensuring the design and development of the ICT resources (training programs etc.,) in education are pedagogically sound and meet the teaching and learning needs of the teachers and students of the country is really challenging.
Last but not least challenge facing by the Government is to preparing and implementing plans to lessen digital divide, which is likely to play an important role in carrying out a variety of activities for human resources development in ICT to realize millennium development goals (MDGs).
Every sector should come forward with total involvement and commitment to integrate ICT services in their application to benefit the people and the country through government, academia, small and large firms, and non-profits and non-governmental organizational programs and projects. The appropriate teacher training workshops and parents’ workshop should be planned and managed appropriately. The availability of resources should have a proper place in the economy of the country. The ICT professional development program should focus on both academic and technological aspects of ICT integration. The evaluation process should be carried out in qualitative and quantitative manner across all school types (rural and urban) and levels. This will provide a holistic picture of the ICT integration in schools.
Every school is different based on its levels (nursery, primary and secondary). They should be given some autonomy to establish which ICT resources are most suitable for the teaching and learning. This should be implemented according to the need in Kano curriculum to get better degree of ICT integration in public and private sector.
Thus the education and technology are sharp weapons for Kano state to compete with rest of the world to bring socio-economic process. The rapid growth and expansion of ICT in education is more important than our technology investments in the country. A state like Kano has tremendous potential to control and monitor the cyber society for its own developments than other states. Kano has a robust telecommunications environment to support ICT related developments, which support economic growth of the state. As such, it is an ideal place to setup information and communication technologies (ICT) in all sectors to enable socio-economic developments.
 Toomey, R. (2001). Information and Communication Technology for Teaching and Learning. Schooling Issues