Following the adoption of the National Digital Literacy Framework and the setting up of a committee by the federal government to implement the framework, a technology group has called for the adoption of international standard to validate the adopted framework on digital literacy.
Chairman, Open Distance and E-Learning Group, Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede, who spoke on behalf of the group, said the adoption of international standard would help validate the adopted framework and establish the proficiency of Nigerians in digital literacy.
The group is of the view that the adoption of a international standard that will validate the adopted National Digital Literacy Framework, is necessary.
The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) document, has set a corresponding target of achieving 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030 and NITDA is of the view that the digital literacy frameworkwill help achieve government’s goal for digital literacy among Nigerians.
The Fifth National Council on Communication Technology, had in its report, after its stakeholders meeting in Katsina State in 2017, recommended Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) Digital Literacy as standard for digital literacy in Nigeria and also recommended the establishment of state digital literacy committee to drive Nigeria’s digital literacy initiative.
IC3 Digital Literacy aligns with European Commission’s DigComp Framework. The European Commission created the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp) in 2013 to further the development of digital skills across the European Union, and Certiport identified this trend 11 years earlier and created the IC3 Digital Literacy certification program in 2002. Certiport has since supported DigComp and actively contributed to subsequent revisions.
Convinced about the need for digital literacy certification programme for Nigerians, the National Information technology Development Agency (NITDA), in 2021, developed a draft document on National Digital Literacy Framework, which was presented to stakeholders in February 2022, before it was adopted and approved as Nigeria’s National Digital Literacy Framework.
Although report gathered that a committee has been set up to drive its implementation, the Ag Director, Digital Literacy and Skills Development at NITDA, Dr. Amina Sambo-Magaji, told THISDAY that NITDA had even gone beyond the National Digital Literacy Framework to develop the Digital Literacy Skills document for the country that is more robust in content and that the document would soon be presented to the Director General of NITDA, Abdulahi Inua Kashifu, to enable him study it and call for stakeholders’ input.
Reacting to the call for the adoption of international standard to validate the adopted framework on digital literacy, Sambo-Magaji, said: “The draft document on National Digital Literacy has a very limited exposure and NITDA is currently developing the National Digital Skills Strategy and when it is ready, it will be first presented to the Director General of NITDA, Abdulahi Inua Kashifu, before presenting to stakeholders for their inputs. We are aware that some groups are calling for international standard to validate the National Digital Literacy Framework, which is currently being worked upon for expansion into a National Digital Skills Strategy, but the truth is that we have carried out a study and we found out that it is not always the case that a country has to adopt a global standard. Countries have their specifics, which vary from one county to another country and some of the specifics are open-ended with no ‘one side fits it all’. Technology allows us to address a particular challenge with different approaches.”