The Role of Technology in the Nigerian Education System

Technology in the. Nigerian Education system
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

For decades, Nigeria had a peculiar case of moribund educational curricula. Technology in the Nigerian education system was treated like a distant neighbour. The Nigerian education system was highly disconnected from the world until the turn of the 21st century. Much of the country’s educational curricula in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions evolved at such a slow pace.

The devastating result was that so many Nigerian graduates emerged rather unfit and ill-prepared for the modern jobs they were seeking for. This one factor badly contributed to the high unemployment statistics in the country.


All the while, Nigeria’s education system largely ignored technological advances and increased skill demands of the changing workplace. That was until the internet became an informal learning and instructional tool for Nigerian citizens out of necessity. It became clear that modern professions and workplace demands include many new skills not yet taught in Nigerian schools – until recently. 

Thus, Nigerians increasingly trooped to the internet to seek relevant knowledge – teachers, students and disadvantaged, unequipped graduates. This was mightily aided by the proliferation of affordable smartphones.

Functions of Technology in Education

Technology is simply the application of (scientific) knowledge to solve problems, or to effect a change. Furthermore, education technology, as defined by the TeachThought website, is: 

“… the application of new tools and ideas that help teachers teach and students learn.

Education technology can automate processes, improve information access, enable sharing of knowledge and data, duplicate information between media forms, curate important knowledge, communicate ideas, visualize critical concepts, and more.

(To be fair, technology can also destroy, poison, obliterate, mislead, etc., but this is more a criticism of applied technology rather than the concept of technology itself).”

Advanced Nations and Technology in Education – A Lesson for Ngeria

Reports curated by education researchers that investigated how technology in education is applied in developed nations, show marked advances. These advances in educational technology in such countries have directly impacted their societies. And their technologically advanced societies in turn have positively impacted their education in repeating cycles. 

All over Europe, a large part of Asia, Australia and North America, the interaction between technology and education continues to transform their societies. And educational research in such countries is cutting-edge and high standard, ever driving research and innovation beyond the school walls as well. 

Nigeria can hardly keep up with such amazing innovations and societal transformation taking place in such advanced nations. Many of these nations and their policy makers in education have learnt to separate what works from useless, outdated knowledge. Quite unlike Nigerian education; the challenge of useless, theory-based old curricula is still a headache. 

In essence, a typical Nigerian student has but two options. He/she either gathers money and resources to go to such developed nations to receive quality education. Or, after passing through the Nigerian educational system, he/she must enroll for specialized modern courses in training institutes. Such students may as well proceed to schools in developed nations after graduating from a Nigerian secondary or tertiary institution, to beat the disadvantage. 

All these options are of course available for students who have parents/guardians or helpers with enough financial stamina to support them. And they are few indeed, in a country with a large number of people below poverty level.  

Benefits of Applying Technology in the Nigerian Education System 

Let us highlight the clear benefits of applying modern technology in the Nigerian education system. 

Facilitates Greater Communication In and Out of the Classroom

Armed with powerful smartphones and the internet, students and teachers can now interact, learn and  gather useful learning/teaching aids. The classroom walls are no longer a barrier to effective teaching, learning and communication across the world. Students can easily be guided by their teachers to answer bogging questions and solve problems related to classroom instruction. And they can interact and communicate from anywhere across the world in real-time. 

With real-time communication apps and internet search engines at hand, the class would be more interactive and fun. This encourages more students to learn easily and further simplifies the work of teachers, in and out of the classroom 

Access to A Vast Knowledge Pool

There is practically no limit to the amount of knowledge available on the internet. And with the internet, both teachers and students are cheaply exposed to the latest information on any subject matter. 

With dictionaries, encyclopedias, journals, e-books, learning videos and tutorials, the list of educational content on the internet is endless. Which helps us to push the argument that the internet should be a standard learning tool in every Nigerian classroom. That is, if Nigeria is ready to boost its socio-economic development and catch up with the rest of the world. 

Helps to Bridge Knowledge Gaps

Bringing technology to the classroom has been proven to  further encourage weak learners to participate and gain more. Students respond to diverse learning styles; but audio-visual learning aids have been extremely useful to all categories of students. They have helped many students to easily recollect, understand and enjoy their learning experience. 

Audio-visual learning aids as powerful technology tools, have eliminated boredom and lack of participation in many classrooms. This trend needs to be fully incorporated into Nigerian classrooms at all levels.

To Track, Measure and Improve Academic Work

Additionally, technology can be used to track and measure the performances of students and teachers. This is important for giving necessary feedback, thus further helping to improve learning/teaching methods. And with technology, school administrators and teachers can keep and update academic records accurately.  

Updates People with Changing Technology and Emerging Fields of Knowledge

In the past two decades, the entire planet has witnessed so much change. Particularly in education, technology, the business world and emerging society. These changes are likely to continue at a rapid pace. Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind any more, if our citizens are to remain relevant and useful at home and abroad. 

Empowers Learners and Teachers with Practical Problem-Solving Skills

The best methods of learning involve demonstration and examples. And there are so many practical learning videos on the internet. YouTube and several other e-learning portals have been highly useful in imparting practical problem-solving skills to people. Learners and teachers can follow examples by watching and duplicating the same activities quite easily. This can simplify and shorten the learning cycle in no small way. 

Technology in Education: Useful Application Areas for Nigerian Classrooms

Some highly beneficial examples of technology in education which are critically needed in Nigerian classrooms include the following. The list is not exhaustive, but it is comprehensive enough. 

  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Learning apps
  • Learning management systems/websites e.g. Google Classroom, Moodle
  • Text, picture and voice search using search engines e.g. Google search, Yahoo search
  • Learning videos
  • Simulation of real life events on a computer using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, e.g. virtual field trips
  • Virtual classroom (using video conferencing).to connect all students at once
  • Flipped classroom (study at your own pace; then meet later to ask questions)
  • Computer/Mobile games
  • Computerized quizzes
  • Podcasts
  • Online collaboration spaces (teamwork/team building) é.g. Microsoft Teams
  • Live video streaming
  • Use of smartphones, learning tablets, Chromebooks, ipads, laptops and desktops for students 
  • Speech-to-text, and writing-to-digitized text software
  • E-libraries
  • Socratic seminar (learning through guided questions, answers, and discussion)




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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.