Distribute the census tablets to basic school teachers if the counting exercise is over_ Hon Jerry Akporhor

 

I wish to propose that, if the census is over, government should initiate actions to reprogram and distribute the tablets being used for the 2021 Population and Housing Census exercise to teachers especially teachers at the basic school level.

As we are all aware, we get counted every ten years. The last one we did was in 2010. We were supposed to undertake the one we are currently doing in 2020 but for Covid 19, it was postponed to this year. All things being equal, we should be expecting to be counted again 2030/2031.

I don’t know what plans government or the agency responsible for the census already has for the electronic devices but I know it won’t be prudent to park them somewhere to be gathering dust for the next ten years in anticipation for the next Census exercise  They will even be out of date by then.

We have seen it before. Typical example is with the Electoral Commission. They parked the Biometric verification devices, we were all waiting for them to be used again only for the the officials come out and tell us that the machines are obsolete so we need to procure new ones with updated features.

Meanwhile, if we had thought of this earlier, after the stipulated date for keeping election data and equipments, we could reprogram the devices and auction them to business owners. Though I am not an IT expert but I know it could serve another purpose other than verification during election. It can even be installed in various workplaces to check attendance.

We can’t continue wasting good money and resources. We have created artificial barriers, beaurocratic bottlenecks and other irrelevant processes which prevents us sometimes from solving our needs with resources we have lying available. We have hospitals and school buildings that are 100% complete but are not in use because they’ve not been commissioned. Hospitals are running out of bed, Students continue to learn in deathtraps and open air.

After two years of introducing new curriculum into our basic schools, teachers are yet to see the color of the curriculum and it’s accompanying texbooks. Also, One important competency the curriculum seeks to develop in both teachers and learners is digital literacy_ A very critical skill needed for now and the future.

Therefore, reprograming these tablets to contain the curriculum, texbooks, videos, pictures and other relevant teaching and learning resources and distributing them to teachers will be a good way to start. It will be a game changer in the classrooms. When the teacher is adequately tooled and motivated, he had no choice than to give off his best.

I agree that here may not be enough tablet for every teacher but at least, it will be a good way to start. Government/MOE/GES can always add the rest of they really care about the future of this country.

Alternatively, it can be subsidized and sold to teachers to be paid for in installment.

It will be better than keeping them somewhere in some office for some scrupulous elements to be giving it out one by one to their girlfriends. MOE, GES and  Teacher Unions should look into this and see if it’s feasible and take the necessary steps.

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The basic school head also needs rest_ appeal to GES.

Hon Jerry Akporhor- Founder and Lead Educator of Informed Teachers Network (ITN)

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