Nigeria’s Digital Divide and the Promise of Offline Internet for Remote Learning for Post Covid-19 Sustainability

Adie, Paul Ingiona, Anthony Etta Bisong (Ph.D) & Otu Michael Obuop (Ph.D)


The digital divide exerts negative effects on online learning in Nigeria as students from rural communities and low-income students are the most educationally disadvantaged by the Covid19 pandemic. Affordability of connectivity in Nigeria was the biggest obstacle facing students in Nigeria during the Covid19 pandemic even after several interventions in the past to bridge the digital divide. Offline internet is shown to hold much promise for bridging the digital divide for remote learning in Nigeria with its sensitive features like requiring no internet to function, commands strict focus on relevant learning and is suitable for all cadres of learning. The benefits of offline internet include enabling slow learning, mastery and reflection by the user, takes away the burden of recurring internet connectivity costs, ensures Use Your Own Device (UYOD) by the users, eliciting and consolidating digital literacy skills by the user and enabling personalized instruction through the user paced nature of the learning experience and providing high quality digital resources for learning. Exemplars of offline Internet in Nigeria include Ulesson, Utiva, Mavis Talking Pen and Book, Ubuntu Hub, Roducate Mass, Stanlab Nigeria etc Prospective users of offline internet for remote learning in Nigeria include Street kids, IDPs, Refugees, Prisoners, Itinerant fishermen, Nomadic herdsmen, Out-of-school learners, adult learners, School dropouts, Rural dwellers etc. Recommendations include e-learning content providers should manufacture offline internet equivalents of their Massive Open Online Courses so as to significantly address the challenges of low-resource contexts and emergencies that would usually prevent individuals benefiting from relevant courses, Policymakers should formulate and monitor the provision of offline internet equivalents for MOOCs, distance learning institutions, conventional schools so that disadvantaged learners can benefit from quality instructional resources too.

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