A mobile SMS educational tool has recently launched in Nigeria aimed at providing primary school teachers with regular updates on educational content to assist with classroom teaching. Nigeria has one of the largest mobile phone markets in the world but also contains some of the world’s poorest people with high occurrences of illiteracy in both adults and children. Mobile learning should help combat this.
The scheme, to be delivered by UNESCO (the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) follows successful initiatives in other parts of the developing world that have opened up mobile learning to both those in rural areas as well as women, who can be excluded from traditional forms of education.
The technology will be available to anyone in Nigeria and will send teachers messages with educational content and advice once a day. The project should reach thousands of teachers across the country.
The use of mobile learning in Nigeria is being piloted as the uptake of mobile devices is high and there is both a lack of government funding and traditional infrastructure to aid teachers. Additionally, the scheme is relatively cheap to administer and offers an alternative to one to one teaching. It has made it possible to reach teachers, who often work in poor conditions, and who were, practically speaking, unreachable a few years ago.