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Guest Crown Note #14

The Effect of Technology, Social Media and an Ever Increasing Youth Population on the Improvement of Quality Education in Nigeria

By Oluropo Ayooluwa Olugbemi

        Technology, social media and an ever increasing youth population are major factors that could affect the quality of education globally and especially in Nigeria. These effects can be positive or negative. Technology can be defined as the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their iteration with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, pure and applied sciences. Technology is also the application of knowledge for practical ends. Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/ videos in virtual communities and networks. An economy is said to have a huge population of youth when the dependency to independent ratio is high, that is, when you have a high number of individuals (ages 15-19) who are depending on the independent part of the economy (above 21 years).
            We live in a high tech world with high tech classrooms. We embrace the benefits of using iPads in classes, integrating tweets during presentations, and teaching students while using smart TVs. There are many benefits of incorporating technology during teaching, these include; adding diversity to lessons, bringing new perspectives and knowledge to the class. Nigeria has attained these high level in a reasonable way. For instance, students in Bowen University, Nigeria take the Microsoft Certification Exams annually in the comfort of their own Digital Centre. Currently, the Joint Admission Matriculation Board has replaced the paper-based examinations with computers-based examinations in Nigeria. This is a landmark achievement in the education sector of Nigeria due to technology as it has afforded candidates the ease of taking examinations and timely release of results unlike the paper-based examination.
            Social media is a very helpful tool in the conveyance of information and also in the improvement of education in Nigeria. Social media has neither boundaries nor limited by distance. Youths are usually online and can share information regarding their challenges (especially regarding calculations) with respect to their coursework to friends or older family members who can solve these questions raised and return the solution real time on platforms such as WhatsApp®, Blackberry messenger®, Skype®, Facebook® to mention a few. The latest educational software are often mentioned during fraternising on social media. Social media has assisted the youths share their personal fears and challenges anonymously and useful solutions, counselling are proffered. This has helped the youths concentrate more on their studies as emotional burdens are shared. This has helped enhance the quality of education due to low emotional breakdown of the youth. There is a limit to which institutions can admit students, they are sometimes forced to admit more than they can handle therefore leading to poor quality delivery of education. It is therefore noteworthy to conclude that technology and social media has positively impacted on the quality of education, but negatively impacted with huge youth population in Nigeria.

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