Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, says the full deployment of Blackboard digital learning platform in Nigerian tertiary institutions would go a long way to fast-track educational development.Mamman stated this on Thursday in Abuja while receiving a delegation of Anthology Executives from the United States.
Mamman said the Blackboard platform being championed by Anthology would ensure easy access to online academic resources and address limitation of physical capacity of learning and the inability to access credible learning materials.
He pledged to provide necessary support through relevant policies that would facilitate the progress of the Blackboard project in the country.
“I am a firm believer of technology, I believe in the efficacy of what we can use technology to achieve,” he said.
“We are at the beginning of major reform in the education sector from the basic levels to tertiary levels. We know that physical capacity is a limiting factor but through IT, you can reach practically everybody and we are determined to do it.”
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, who led the team to the Minister, explained that the Blackboard platform would see to the establishment of Centre of Excellence in Nigeria that would be a benchmark for online learning methodologies.
Echono said it would also help the country to be at the forefront of learning management system saying that “what happened during COVID would not catch us unawares again”.
He added that the Blackboard would enroll about 2.2 million student users in Nigeria across the 253 beneficiary institutions of the Fund.
Echono revealed that plans are also underway to enrol other private institutions to the Blackboard platform, saying the move would increase the target to 3 million students.
Speaking on the importance of Blackboard, Echono said it is a platform that handles everything even from management of the institutions to the process of seeking admission-when you get enrolled to how you finish.
Meanwhile, the President of Anthology, Joe Belenardo, said the Blackboard had been tested to provide solutions to students and directors of ICT around the world through skills.
Belenardo explained that the Blackboard, a learning management system currently has about 6,000 clients and 150 million students globally and is designed to create additional solutions/innovations, access to network and give business development opportunities for learners.