The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to commence operations in some of the newly constructed smart schools by January 2023.

According to a statement made available to journalists by the Head, Public Relations, UBEC, David Apeh, He gave this assurance when a team of Korean experts led by Prof. Dae Joon Hwang of UBION Consortium paid him a courtesy visit at the end of their 4-week stay in Nigeria.

Speaking at the occasion, the Country Director of the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA), Mr. Son Sungil, stated that the 3-man team had been in Nigeria since July 3rd 2022 as part of the implementation of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between KOICA and UBEC in October 2021.

Amongst other items, the objectives of the MOU are to assist Nigeria in the development of the smart schools project, to increase the capacity of teachers in the development and use of ICT content and to improve the access of teachers and pupils to quality teaching and learning materials.

The Team Leader, Prof. Hwang, thanked the Executive Secretary for the warm reception and collaboration they had received from the Commission during their stay noting that the three pillars of the collaboration revolved around the supply of sophisticated recording and broadcasting studio equipment in some of the smart schools, content development with particular reference to Mathematics and Science, and capacity building for teachers and education managers across the country in the use of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the Blended Learning methodology.

Also speaking during the occasion, the Co-ordinator of the Smart Schools Programme, Prof. Bashir Galadanci stated that, during their one month stay, the Korean team of experts had extensive discussions with officials of UBEC, NERDC and NTI on the Smart Schools Programme.

They also visited the Smart Schools in Lafia, Nasarawa State and Tarda, Kano State and had discussions with the SUBEB chairmen and officials of Kano and Nasarawa states respectively.

In addition, they participated in two workshops organized by UBEC; one for the critiquing of training course materials for teachers and principals of smart schools and another for the development of blended lesson templates for use by the smart schools. He explained that UBEC had benefitted tremendously from their expertise and wealth of experience.

South Korea is generally rated as one of the countries with the best education systems in the world in terms of the use of relevant technologies in teaching and learning as well as how teachers are well paid compared to other professionals.