To read this content please select one of the options below:

“Being on the wrong side of the digital divide”: seeking technological interventions for education in Northeast Nigeria

Marianne Martens (School of Information, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Lala Hajibayova (School of Information, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Kathleen Campana (School of Information, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Gretchen Caldwell Rinnert (School of Visual Communication Design, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Joanne Caniglia (College of Education Health and Human Services, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Isa Garba Bakori (American University of Nigeria, Yola, Nigeria)
Tsukuru Kamiyama (Department of English, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Liman Audu Mohammed (American University of Nigeria, Yola, Nigeria)
Davison M. Mupinga (College of Education Health and Human Services, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Olivia Jeonghwa Oh (College of Education Health and Human Services, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 29 October 2020

Issue publication date: 20 November 2020

1992

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report the initial findings of a project aiming to re-establish basic education in conflict-ravaged states in Northeastern Nigeria and to improve education providers' ability to plan and deliver basic educational services. The authors present a preliminary analysis of Nigerian teachers' access to information communication technology (ICT), their technology skills, as well associated national ICT policies.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study uses results from two co-designed tools, administered using KoboToolbox to Education Managers in the first instance, and teachers in the second. The data from the tools form the basis for analysis.

Findings

In the first instance, educational managers reported a lack of access to technology, the internet and to training and professional development. In the second instance, teachers reported issues present in the classroom environment, including poor infrastructure, a lack of resources and over-crowded classrooms. Very few teachers had access to computers or to the internet.

Research limitations/implications

The 33 educational managers represent a small sample size and may not be fully representative of the region covered. The ICT Capacity Audit tool listed Excel in two different areas – basic Excel skills and using Excel for data analysis – which could have caused confusion for participants. The data collection should be repeated, expanded and compared for consistency. For the team, changes to the proposed (SENSE) box content meant that we were not able to deliver low-tech tools, such as Boogie Boards, or high-tech tools, such as tablets, to schools.

Originality/value

Despite seemingly insurmountable challenges, the research team identified low-tech tools as a feasible resource in the classroom. Existing tools, such as teachers' smartphones and use of the WhatsApp application, can be used for sharing educational resources and providing teacher training. This paper argues that Nigeria needs up-to-date national ICT policies to guide in-country efforts to develop implementation of information technology initiatives for education.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Cooperative Agreement #72062019CA00002, Addressing Education in Northeast Nigeria - Adamawa and Gombe States. We are grateful to our partners in Nigeria, especially the researchers who collected data on the ground and the study participants.

Citation

Martens, M., Hajibayova, L., Campana, K., Rinnert, G.C., Caniglia, J., Bakori, I.G., Kamiyama, T., Mohammed, L.A., Mupinga, D.M. and Oh, O.J. (2020), "“Being on the wrong side of the digital divide”: seeking technological interventions for education in Northeast Nigeria", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 72 No. 6, pp. 963-978. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-05-2020-0172

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles