The 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education defines information and communication technology (ICT) as “the art and applied sciences that deal with data and information. It encompasses all (equipment including computational machinery - computers, hardware, software, firmware etc., tools, methods, practices, processes, procedures, concepts, principles and the sciences) that come into play in the conduct of the information activities: acquisition, representation, processing, presentation, security, interchange, transfer, management, organization, storage and retrieval of data and information”.
The 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education and 1990 National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education Act (Article 3) make reference to the term ‘educational technologies’, without providing a specific definition.
The 2014 National Policy on Education defines ‘open and distance education’ as the mode of education delivery 1) where learners and teachers need not be in physical contact, 2) which possesses high range of flexible learning environments, 3) that enhances access to tertiary education, 4) that has the capacity to deliver a variety of skills, and 5) which uses a variety of media and technologies to provide quality education for a large number of learners.
Constitution and laws: The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates that “the government shall promote science and technology” (Article 18) and that the State shall “encourage the development of technological and scientific studies which enhance cultural values (Article 21). The National Assembly is additionally tasked to make laws, regulate and coordinate scientific and technological research throughout the Federation (Part II: 21).
The 2003 Nigerian Communications Act provides for universal service provision in Nigeria (Article 112), which is regulated by the 2007 Universal Access and Universal Service Regulations.
The 2007 National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Act gives the NITDA the mandate to provide universal access to information technology systems in rural, urban and under-served areas, establishing guidelines that also apply to the education sector (Article 6).
The 2004 Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act makes no reference to technology or distance learning.
The 1985 Education (National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions) Act states that the purpose of secondary education shall be to “equip students to live effectively in the modem age of science and technology” (Article 5).
The 1990 National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education Act mandates the Commission to “conduct research in various fields such as curriculum development, learning and teaching methodologies, appropriate educational technologies motivation of learners and instructions and needs assessments” (Article 3).
Policies, plans and strategies: The federal government of Nigeria has a strong policy and strategy framework in place for the integration of ICT in the education system.
The 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education provides the overall framework for a standardized and coordinated deployment of ICT in Education, with a vision for education to be “universally accessible, empowering, inclusive and enriching” and a mission to meet the country’s human capital requirement for attaining and enhancing sustainable socio-economic development, global competitiveness as well as the individual’s ability to survive in a contemporary environment. The 2019 National Implementation Guidelines for ICT in Education facilitate the actualization of the policy within a given timeline, providing the modalities for targeting different beneficiaries of the policy at all levels of education for effective development and deployment of ICT in Education.
The e-Learning Strategy for Schools outlines the government's plan to promote e-learning in schools, making use of digital content, online courses, and educational technology platforms to enhance the learning experience.
The 2012 National ICT Policy aimed to provide a national framework for streamlining the ICT sector, with a mission to fully integrate ICTs into the socioeconomic development of Nigeria, in order to transform Nigeria into a “knowledge-based and globally competitive society”. Objectives include expanding universal access/service provision nationwide, with specific education targets.
Nigeria's 2020-30 National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy seeks to promote the development of digital skills in the workforce, including educators and students. It focuses on creating an enabling environment for digital innovation and skills development across all sectors, including education.
The 2014 National Policy on Education includes a detailed section on open and distance education and specific ICT objectives for all education levels.
The 2018-22 Education for Change: a Ministerial Strategic Plan includes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and ICT in Education as part of its ten pillars to achieving education access, quality and systems strengthening.
The 2021 National Policy on Gender in Education promoted the use of gender-friendly ICT in teaching and learning environments, in addition to bridging the gender gap in science education, STEM, and the use of ICTs in education for all learners.
Finally, the 2021 National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools includes provisions to combat cyberbullying.
At the state level, ICT objectives may be included in state ICT policies or state education sector plans. States such as Lagos, Enugu and Jigawa have established ICT policies with education objectives. The 2013 Enugu State ICT Policy and Strategic Action Plan aims to fund universal access programs and use existing government structures (including schools) to extend ICT services to the rural areas. Education sector plans in other states including Kaduna and Kano State include specific ICT objectives. The 2019-29 Kaduna State Education Sector Strategic Plan aims to integrate the use of ICT in the education system, which is also reinforced by the 2019 Kaduna State Education Policy. The 2009-18 Kano State Education Sector Strategic Plan similarly promotes ICT integration in schools, with a specific objective to develop a state ICT in education policy.
Digital competency frameworks: There are two digital literacy frameworks at the federal level in Nigeria: the 2021 National Digital Literacy Framework, which sets Nigeria’s national digital literacy vision and proposed framework, and the 2011 ICT Competency Framework for Teachers in Nigeria.
The 2019 Digital Literacy and Skills Development Programmes: Various government and non-governmental organisations run programs to improve digital literacy and skills among teachers and students. These initiatives aim to equip them with the necessary knowledge to effectively use technology in education.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: The 2020 Guidelines for schools and learning facilities reopening after Covid-19 pandemic closures aimed to ‘build back better’ after COVID-19, with the mobilization and deployment of existing and new resources to build school capacity and resilience in order to mitigate risk and improve safety in future crises related to health, natural and everyday hazards, violence and conflict. Some of the strategies included recruiting additional teachers and education personnel to guarantee prescribed safe distancing teacher-learner ratio, equipping and resourcing schools for improved teaching and learning methods for special needs learners, creating adequate classrooms and learning spaces to maintain safe distancing in schools, encouraging digital inclusion so that poor and vulnerable learners have access to technology for learning, and upgrading infrastructure to cope with similar outbreaks that could cause disruption of the education system. Overall, the guidelines aimed to strengthen and reinforce the use of ICT to facilitate teaching and learning.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2019 National Implementation Guidelines for ICT in Education aim to develop and provide cost effective and sustainable alternative power supply in schools. This is part of the 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education’s objective to establish and sustain a common ICT infrastructure platform for all education levels. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 Guidelines for schools and learning facilities reopening after Covid-19 pandemic closures aimed to use solar power and alternative energy sources for electricity as part of the sector’s ‘build back better’ strategy.
Computers and devices: Federal government policies focus on the provision of ICT devices to schools. The 2012 National ICT Policy aims to provide schools with personal computers to help low-income segments of society gain access to the internet and for educational purposes, while the 2019 National Implementation Guidelines for ICT in Education support the establishment of multimedia classrooms, which include interactive boards, multimedia projectors, software, teleconferencing studio, radio, and television. According to the 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education, the federal government should ensure adequate supply of ICT systems for access to software applications, local and International contents and online learning resources at all educational institutions and establishment, in addition to developing a mechanism for the disposal of unserviceable ICT equipment in educational institutions and establishments. Additional initiatives include the introduction of schemes which are targeted at the provision of computers to government staff at all levels of education at preferential rates and establishment of ICT laboratories in schools and Centres of Excellence in tertiary institutions. Finally, the 2018-22 Education for Change: a Ministerial Strategic Plan aims to provide requisite ICT Infrastructure/Equipment (Hardware, Software and Networks) in schools at all levels in classrooms, laboratories/workshops, libraries and for administration as follows: 720,000 mobile tablets and 720,000 computers and accessories for Basic and Secondary Schools, 4,000 smart classrooms; 120,000 computers and accessories for universities; 100,000 for Polytechnics; 80,000 for Colleges of Education and 5,200 for FUCs, 1 Data Centre/Server Room each in 183 Federal Institutions, Campus Networks in 183 Federal Schools and Private Cloud in 79 tertiary institutions.
The One Laptop Per Child Project was introduced by the federal government in 2005, and was revised and ongoing in 2013. The 2004 Digital Bridge Initiative (DBI) is a government initiative aimed at bridging the digital divide in Nigeria by providing access to information technology tools and resources in schools and educational insitutions.
Different states may have specific strategies or programs for the distribution of ICT devices to schools or students. The 2013 Enugu State ICT Policy and Strategic Action Plan aims to provide personal computers in public schools to help low income segments gain access to ICT services, while the 2019-29 Kaduna State Education Sector Strategic Plan supports the distribution of 5,000 ICT tablets in senior secondary schools. In 2020, Kaduna State built computer labs in secondary schools to facilitate the teaching and learning of ICT. Lagos State distributed 1 million ICT devices to secondary school students as well as tech-teaching devices to 15,000 teachers in public primary schools across the state in 2021. Edo State’s signature basic education sector reform programme, EdoBEST, expanded to 380 schools with 2,602 gadgets (teacher tablets and smartphones) in 2023, increasing tech-penetration in schools across the state.
Internet connectivity: The 2007 Universal Access and Universal Service Regulations include schools as part of the institutions benefitting from the universal service fund (Article 44) established in the 2003 Nigerian Communications Act, which includes internet services. The Federal Government’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) is an initiative established to promote the widespread availability and affordability of ICT services in underserved areas of Nigeria. While it is not solely focused on education, it helps provide connectivity to schools and communities, thereby improving access to technology for educational purposes. The USPF includes the Rural Broadband Initiative (RUBI), which aims to provide universal access to broadband connectivity with a focus on rural/semi-urban underserved and unserved areas, and the School Knowledge Centres (SK), which promote seamless access to online/offline remote educational resources.
The Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) is a high-speed network infrastructure connecting educational institutions across the country. It facilitates the exchange of knowledge and provides a platform for online learning, which contributes to more equitable access to educational resources.
The 2012 National ICT Policy similarly has an objective to extend universal access/service (including broadband) nationwide in the shortest possible time, which explicitly applies to schools through the School Access Program. The provision of internet connectivity in schools is equally supported by the 2018-22 Education for Change: a Ministerial Strategic Plan and 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education. The 2019 National Implementation Guidelines for ICT in Education specifically aim to enhance internet connectivity in schools though the development and implementation of a functional Campus Network, establishment of interconnectivity for educational institutions, and adoption of minimum standards for ICT infrastructure.
The 2020-25 National Broadband Plan is a government policy aimed at increasing broadband penetration and coverage in Nigeria. By improving the internet infrastructure, this plan indirectly enhances access to technology for educational purposes, both in schools and households.
State-level plans may also focus on the enhancement of internet connectivity in schools. The 2013 Enugu State ICT Policy and Strategic Action Plan promoted universal access to high quality advanced ICT education, technologies and services with particular reference to internet capabilities.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The provision of distance education is supported in several policy documents at the federal level. According to the 2014 National Policy on Education, the goals of distance education are to 1) provide more access to quality education and equity in educational opportunities, 2) meet the special needs of empoyers and employees by mounting special courses for employees at the workplace, 3) encourage internationalization of tertiary education curricula, 4) ameliorate the effect of internal and external brain drain in tertiary institutions by utilizing Nigerian experts as teachers regardless of their locations or places of work, and 5) encourage lifelong learning opportunities. In pursuance of these goals, the federal government is responsible for ensuring distance learning programs are equivalent in status to those offered by face-to-face methods, regulating open and distance learning, and strengthening the existing coordinating agencies on open and distance learning. Community radios and and radio literacy programs are also encouraged for mass and nomadic education.
The 2019 National Implementation Guidelines for ICT in Education aim to further strengthen and expand open and distance learning, as well as blended and e-learning in Nigeria, which was one of the objectives of the 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education. To meet this goal, the federal government aims to liaise with relevant Agencies to expand Nigeria Research and Education Network (NgREN), develop content and design instructional materials/media, leverage on existing resource centres to increase access to learning, expose learners to access and use open educational resources (OERs) online, and enhance the use of electronic media to increase access to ICT education. The final objective includes establishing linkages with Radio and TV stations and Telecommunication companies for the broadcast of ICT educational programmes and boradcasting ICT educational programmes on television, radio, mobile devices, Internet and professional social media.
Finally, the 2018-22 Education for Change: a Ministerial Strategic Plan support the mainstreaming and expansion of open, distance and e-learning in secondary and tertiary education.
Distance learning is also supported in various education plans at the state level, such as the 2013 Enugu State ICT Policy and Strategic Action Plan, 2019-29 Kaduna State Education Sector Strategic Plan, and 2019 Kaduna State Education Policy.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Nigerian government encouraged the use of e-learning platforms and adopted an e-learning policy to guide educational institutions in implementing distance education during the pandemic. This policy emphasised the use of technology to deliver lessons and engage with students remotely. Learning continuity was planned through printed materials, online learning, radio, or TV programs. Educational programs were aired on public broadcasting channels to reach students without internet access. Efforts were made to develop and curate digital educational content that aligned with the curriculum, while open educational resources (OER) were promoted to provide free and accessible learning materials for students.
The Nigeria Education Sector COVID–19 Response Strategy was developed by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with its Development Partners and the States. The purpose of the initiative was to provide the modality for a coordinated, systemic and appropriate response to COVID–19 that would involve all stakeholders. The government aimed to mitigate the immediate effect and impact of the pandemic on the education sector, and to enhance the sector’s responsiveness and resilience in providing inclusive quality education at all levels. One of the principal objectives of the education sector COVID–19 response strategy is application of the lessons learnt and capacity developed in the long-term to strengthen the education sector to be more responsive and resilient. Federal government plans included the 2020 Education Sector COVID-19 Contingency Plan and the 2020 Guidelines for schools and learning facilities reopening after Covid-19 pandemic closures.
Efforts were made to enhance digital infrastructure and connectivity to support the delivery of online education. This included initiatives to expand internet coverage and ensure that educational institutions had access to the necessary technology and resources. The government additionally collaborated with telecom companies to provide zero-rating data plans or subsidised data packages for educational platforms. This helped reduce the cost of accessing online learning materials for students and teachers.
Teachers and educators also received training on using technology for remote teaching. Workshops, webinars, and online training sessions were organised to equip educators with the necessary skills to deliver quality distance education. Digital literacy initiatives targeted students, teachers, and parents to ensure that they were comfortable using digital tools and platforms for distance learning.
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), as a distance learning institution, also played a significant role in providing educational continuity during the pandemic. Its existing infrastructure and expertise in remote learning were leveraged to support other institutions in transitioning to distance education.
The government monitored the implementation of distance education initiatives to assess their effectiveness and address any challenges that arose during the process.
The development of digital literacy skills is supported in several federal government documents. One of the objectives of the 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education is to promote ICT proficiency in mass and non-formal education with special focus on children, women and people with special needs. The policy also aims to carry out needs assessments to identify skill gaps and encourage acquisition of appropriate ICT skills to mitigate the gaps. Similarly, the 2012 National ICT Policy, which aims to integrate ICT into the national education curriculum, supports the promotion of ICT awareness and proficiency in mass and non-formal education with emphasis on children, youth, women, and the physically challenged. One of its objectives is to introduce mandatory training and appropriate courses for ICT at all tiers of education.
The 2021 National Digital Literacy Framework is Nigeria’s national digital literacy vision, aiming for all Nigerian citizens to have digital skills equal to or exceeding the demands of their daily transactions and occupations in a Digital Nigeria; as well as a nation that creates, uses and supplies advanced digital technologies and content to improve productivity across all sectors of the economy. Proposed competence areas of the Nigerian Digital Literacy Framework include information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety, problem solving, and career-related competencies. Some of the education-specific objectives of the framework include the establishment of digital literacy as a core subject in primary, secondary, and tertiary schools, making digital literacy a criterion for graduation at tertiary level and for admission at post graduate level, and mandating the possession of a recognized digital literacy certification for employment and promotion of all public service workforce in all job roles and cadres.
The 2018-22 Education for Change: a Ministerial Strategic Plan includes STEM as one of its 10 pillars, supporting the popularization of STEM to improve enrolment and quality, improvement of student competence in ICT, review of the ICT curriculum to address emerging and future market needs such as coding, artificial intelligence, and robotics, and organisation of programs and activities to improve female enrolment and quality in STEM. The 2021 National Policy on Gender in Education similarly promotes gender equity in STEM, with a dedicated section on Gender and ICTs.
Various initiatives to develop student digital skills can also be found at the state level. The 2013 Enugu State ICT Policy and Strategic Action Plan aims to introduce mandatory ICT subjects/courses at all levels of education in the state. In 2022, Lagos State aimed to empower over 100,000 students in 720 primary and secondary schools with ICT, networking, and other technological skills through its Eko Digital Initiative. The Oyo State government partnered with the Media and Digital Skills Centre Nigeria to train its public-school students on coding, robotics, artificial intelligence and drone technology.
The 2011 ICT Competency Framework for Teachers in Nigeria details the ICT competencies expected of teachers at the federal level. The 2010 Professional Standards for Nigerian Teachers also include ICT under teacher’s professional knowledge, aiming for teachers to know the application of modern computer systems and communication technology and apply advanced computer and technology aided resources in teaching.
Several federal government policies support the ongoing in-service training of teachers in ICT. The 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education encourages the continuous and mandatory professional development of core ICT teachers and administrators and the appropriate continuing ICT training including content development and delivery for all staff. The 2019 National Implementation Guidelines for ICT in Education includes specific objectives for organizing professional training for ICT teachers/traine rs and administrators, encouraging ICT teachers and administrators to register with CPN/other relevant IT professional bodies, encouraging ICT teachers and administrators to attend professional conferences/se minars/worksh ops on a regular basis, providing opportunities for ICT teachers and administrators to design, produce, utilize and disseminate ICT-based instructional materials, and organizing appropriate ICT training for all staff regularly.The 2018-22 Education for Change: a Ministerial Strategic Plan supports human capacity development in STEM and the establishment of a coordinated programme for mandatory development of competencies in ICT among teachers and educational administrators. The plan additionally aims to build the capacity of staff/teachers to be computer literate for greater efficiency and productivity and to deliver on 21st Century skills. The 2012 National ICT Policy also encourages the continuous training of teachers at all levels to enhance their ICT competence.
As a result of COVID-19, the 2020 Guidelines for schools and learning facilities reopening after Covid-19 pandemic closures additionally aimed to conduct online training that not only prepares teachers to teach in a way that safeguards the health, safety, and security of the learners but also enables them to facilitate learning using 21st century pedagogy based on ICT. This included conducting training and capacity development for teachers and administrators to enhance their competence in effectively delivering and facilitating safe online and remote teaching and learning and their ability to provide psychosocial support. Finally, the 2021 National Policy on Gender in Education aims to build the capacity of teachers and instructors on how to prevent and respond to technology-facilitated violence and abuse.
Several interventions and strategies are also implemented at the state level. The 2019 Kaduna State Education Policy supported training teachers in using modern ICT technology in teaching and on new techniques and best practices of teaching using modern equipment, i.e. digital Learning material that is technology driven. The 2019-29 Kaduna State Education Sector Strategic Plan similarly aimed to train staff and administrators to become ICT compliant. In 2022, the Edo State government trained 2,000 new teachers on ICT skills and digital pedagogy. In 2023, this training graduated about 1,200 digital teachers. Between 2018 and 2022, over 16,000 teachers (novice and experienced) from the primary and junior secondary school system were re-trained to be technologically supported and empowered teachers as part of the EdoBEST program, which is a government-led intervention programme designed to revolutionize basic education in Edo state.
2.4.1. Data privacy
The 2023 Data Protection Act provides for data protection principles that are common to many international data protection frameworks. It defines "personal data" broadly and it includes legal obligations for "data controllers" and "processors", defined similarly to the majority of data protection laws around the world. The Act states that a data processor or controller shall not process sensitive personal data, unless the "processing is carried out in the course of legitimate activities, with appropriate safeguards, by a foundation, association, or such other non-profit organisation with charitable, educational, literacy, artistic, philosophical, religious, or trade union purposes" and the "sensitive personal data is not disclosed outside of the entity without the explicit consent of the data subject" (Article 30).
The 2019 Nigeria Data Protection Regulation and its 2020 Implementation Framework applies to Data Controllers and Data Administrators that process the personal data of natural persons residing in Nigeria or who reside outside Nigeria but are Nigerian citizens. There is no explicit mention of education institutions in these regulations.
The 2015 Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention, etc.) Act similarly includes provisions to protect data privacy and ensure the security of computer systems.
The 2020 Guidelines for the Management of Personal Data by Public Institutions in Nigeria govern the roles and responsibilities of public officers and public institutions with regards to the processing and management of personal data. They were issued as a guideline for the implementation of the 2019 Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, applying to all public institutions in Nigeria, including Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Institutions, Public Corporations, publicly funded ventures, and incorporated entities with government shareholding, either at the Federal, State or Local levels (with no explicit mention of education institutions).
The 2019 National Policy on ICT in Education emphasises the need for a safe and secure ICT environment for learners. It includes provisions to ensure data privacy and security in the education sector when implementing technology-based solutions.
The government encourages the use of secure e-learning platforms that employ encryption and other security measures to protect the data transmitted between learners and educators.The Nigerian government collaborates with technology companies and e-learning platforms to ensure that their systems and services comply with data protection and cybersecurity standards. This may involve conducting audits and assessments of these platforms to identify and address potential vulnerabilities. Educational institutions are also encouraged to develop incident response plans that outline procedures to follow in case of a cybersecurity breach or data privacy incident. These plans help minimise the impact of potential security incidents on learners and their data. Educational institutions are advised to continuously monitor their technology infrastructure and e-learning platforms for potential security risks. Regular evaluations help identify vulnerabilities.
The government additionally organises capacity-building programs and awareness campaigns to educate learners, teachers, and parents about the importance of data privacy and cybersecurity. These initiatives aim to promote responsible online behaviour and protect learners from cyber threats.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) issues guidelines for various aspects of technology use, including data protection and cybersecurity. These guidelines provide specific recommendations and best practices to safeguard learners' data and ensure secure technology usage in educational settings.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
The 2015 Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention, etc.) Act is the primary law on cybersecurity in Nigeria. It provides an effective and unified legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrimes in Nigeria, which includes ensuring the protection of critical national information infrastructure, the promotion of cyber security, and protection of computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property and privacy rights. The Act refers to online abuse and bullying, but does not explicitly apply to schools.
The 2021 National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence-Free Schools intends to ensure that school safety and security are at the top of the agenda for government at all levels, proposing a zero-tolerance approach to any type of threat to the school environment, including any form of bullying (such as cyberbullying). Cyberbullying is defined as “the “use of the internet to threaten or intimidate a person, usually by sending harmful or negative messages or postings”. The policy aims to prevent bullying of any form through established protocols and regulations that prevent bullying, and ensuring that all staff, learners and parents are properly enlightened about all safety policies and rules. All teachers in the school shall regularly undergo safe school training.
The 2019 Framework and Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Platforms in Public Institutions requires all public institutions to obey relevant laws, policies and regulations related to the use of ICT in cyberspace when using social media. There is no explicit reference to educational institutions.
Several states have child protection policies in place, such as 2016 Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and 2020 Adamawa State Child Protection Bill, but these do not include provisions for cyberbullying or online abuse.
In the Federal Republic of Nigeria, education is a shared responsibility between the Federal, State and Local Governments.
The Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE) is overall responsible for policy formulation, monitoring of implementation, and setting and maintaining standards with regards to ICT in the Nigerian education sector. There are 2 departments under the FMoE which are specifically responsible for ICT in education. The Technology and Science Education (TSE) Department covers all matters of Technology and Science Education below tertiary level, with a mission to provide enabling structures, build capacity for efficient and effective implementation, in addition to the monitoring and evaluation of the National Policy on Education in Technology and Science Education below the Tertiary Education sub-sector. The Technology Education Division supervises and coordinates all the activities of the branches within the division and initiates and implements national policies on technical education. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Department was established as part of the FMoE in 2011 with the goal to ensure effective delivery of innovative technology solutions and support services within the Federal Ministry of Education and to serve as an ICT co-ordination resource for the education sector at large. Its mandate includes giving policy direction on the development and deployment of ICT in education; developing strategic plans, guidelines and strategies for implementation of ICT in education; setting minimum standards on ICT in education and monitoring compliance; develop and coordinate ICT capacity building among students and staff; and support and maintain ICT infrastructure in schools. The Department has two Divisions: the ICT Education Division and the Hardware and Software Management Division.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is responsible to facilitate ICT as a key tool in the transformation agenda for Nigeria in the areas of job creation, economic growth and transparency of governance. With regard to ICT in education, the ministry collaborates with the FMoE and local education authorities in reviewing, adopting and implementing ICT standards and guidelines (including for infrastructure purposes), expanding the Nigeria Research and Education Network (NgREN), establishing linkages with Radio and TV stations and Telecommunication companies for the broadcast of ICT educational programmes, provide access to connectivity to the National Education Backbone, ensuring that ICT systems specifications conform with global standards, and establishing interconnectivity for educational institutions and establishments. Key functions of the ICT Department under the ministry include the formulation and coordination of the National ICT Policy, facilitation of public-private partnership initiatives to develop the ICT sector, and supporting ICT capacity building programs.
The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture collaborates with other ministries and authorities in enhancing the use of electronic media to increase access to ICT education, using social media for public awareness, carrying out advocacy and sensitization programs on ICT in education, partnering with media organizations to create public awareness on ICT in education, and disseminating ethical ICT security practices.
The Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has a mission to facilitate the development and deployment of science and technology to enhance the pace of socio-economic development of the country through appropriate technological inputs into productive activities in the nation. The ministry collaborates with other ministries and authorities to employ appropriate PPP models for ICT in education and publish and disseminate research results.
The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) is Nigeria's primary telecommunications regulator, including the the provision of modern, universal, efficient, reliable, affordable and easily accessible communications services and the widest range thereof throughout Nigeria.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is responsible for developing and regulating the information technology sector in Nigeria and ensuring universal access in order to promote IT diffusion in all sectors of national life. The e-Learning platform forms part of NITDA and aims to increase access to learning opportunities/flexibility, develop student digital literacy skills, digitalize all learning and stay at the leading edge of educational technology developments.
The Nigerian Research and Education Network(NgREN) is a high-speed network infrastructure designed to connect educational institutions across the country. It facilitates the exchange of knowledge, research, and collaboration among universities, research institutions, and other educational establishments.
The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) is responsible for curriculum development and educational research in Nigeria. It collaborates with other agencies and stakeholders to ensure that technology is appropriately integrated into the curriculum and educational materials.
The National Teachers' Institute (NTI) plays a significant role in teacher training and professional development. It is involved in equipping teachers with the necessary skills to effectively use technology in the classroom and deliver technology-enabled education.
The regulation of ICT education and practice is additionally the responsibility of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) in collaboration with the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) for the tertiary education level as well as regulations of other formal and non-formal institutions.
Various public-private partnerships have been established to promote digital inclusion and access to technology in education. These partnerships may involve technology companies, NGOs, and government entities working together to provide technology resources to schools and households in underserved areas. Various private companies, tech organisations, and NGOs are actively involved in supporting technology in education initiatives. They may provide technological infrastructure, educational content, and funding to enhance experiences. The government also collaborates with universities, colleges, and other educational institutions to incorporate digital skills development into their curricula. This ensures that future educators are well-prepared to teach digital skills to their students effectively.
While the policy and standards with regards to ICT in education are the responsibilities of the Federal Government, the implementation of ICT in education rests heavily with the State and Local Governments, which include 36 State Ministries of Education (SmoEs), State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEB), and 774 Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs). Each state in Nigeria has its own Ministry of Education responsible for implementing education policies and programs at the state level. This includes teacher training in ICT, implementation of open and distance learning, and improving student competence in ICT. State ministries play a vital role in ensuring the effective integration of technology in schools within their jurisdictions. States may also have their own ICT departments as part of the State Ministry of Education. For example, the Enugu State Ministry of Education, which is committed to an “ICT-driven education system”, has established an ICT Department which is responsible for the collection, distribution, installation and inspection of ICT equipment in schools and ensuring the use of ICT equipment in teaching and learning. Similarly, Jigawa State and Kaduna State have established Science and Technology departments under their respective state ministries of education. In Kano State, the State Council on Education comprises of an Office of the Special Adviser on Education and Technology. Lagos State Ministry of Science & Technology does not have an ICT division, but includes as part of its objectives the development of STEM education, as well as the establishment of an e-learning centre.
The use of mobile phones in schools is regulated at the state level, with states including Osun State (2016) and Jigawa State (2012) having banned their use in secondary schools across the respective states.
This profile has been reviewed by the Federal Ministry of Education (Nigeria).