The Use of ICT in Nigerian Universities: A Case Study of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

By Nwezeh, Chinwe M. T. | Library Philosophy and Practice, November 2010 | Go to article overview

The Use of ICT in Nigerian Universities: A Case Study of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife


Nwezeh, Chinwe M. T., Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

The information and communication technology revolution is sweeping through the world and the gale has even caught up with developing countries like Nigeria and Ghana. Information and communication technologies have introduced new methods of teaching and conducting research and have been brought into education facilities for online learning, teaching and research collaboration. While some university communities in some countries enjoy free or inexpensive Internet access, students and faculty/staff in Nigeria must pay for time spent accessing the Internet, whether at a cyber café or in the library (although the library offers a discount). To improve ICT services in the library, therefore, researchers need to show how students and faculty/staff are using the Internet in the academic environment. University administration at many Nigerian universities see information and communication technologies as necessary in the process of learning and teaching. Information and communication technologies have given rise to new modes of organizing the educational environment in schools and new concepts in the teaching process as well as the remodeling of the roles played by the participants in the educational process.

According to Ojedokun and Owolabi (2003) teachers in the developing world will have to change their teaching styles and acquire Internet skills as new technologies transform classrooms over the next 20 years. Teachers will need to learn new skills to teach students how to search for and use information from the Internet safety issues. Internet's seemingly infinite information offers access to up-to-date research reports and global knowledge (Nwokedi, 2007) so it has become an important component of electronic services in academic institutions. Therefore, the Internet has become an invaluable tool for learning, teaching and research (including collaborative research) in Nigeria.

Role and Relevance of Universities in National Development

Universities have facilitated and contributed to societal development. They have aided the removal of the major sources of poverty, tyranny, etc. Development is essentially about proper knowledge use and application in developing countries such as Nigeria and Ghana. Universities as institutions for knowledge generation and its transfer to society have been central to development, contributing ideas, skills, technology and expertise in many spheres of human endeavour(Jega2007a). They are centres of creative undertakings, innovation and inventions and they impart skills pertinent to these to all those who qualify for enrollment(Jega,2007b).

As at now, universities play a significant role in building up a country's capacity for a mutually beneficial engagement in an increasingly knowledge based global economic environment. Since universities are relevant in national development, information is very important for national development as well. So to help move the nation foreword, the use of information and communication technologies should be encouraged and practiced in Nigerian universities.

ICT Services In Nigerian University Libraries

The information and communication technology facilities in Nigerian libraries are those that assist in providing efficient and current information services for their use. In Nigeria, some of the resources that are harnessed for scholarly work include the use of various computer operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, software packages specially designed for library operations such as library management software ,software for indexing journals and newspapers, graphical library automation systems and data management applications .Internet technologies software used include file protocol software, use net news groups, discussion groups, web directories, search engines, and e-mail services These can be harnessed by academics for good scholarly work. These technology oriented services have shifted most university libraries from traditional library

services to technology oriented services. …

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