The policy direction of Cross River State Government in the Education Sector is captured in its Vision which is “To be the leading State Education Ministry in the provision of access to qualitative education and generation of skilled manpower in science and technology for socio-economic development” in order to achieve this vison the Ministry of Education needed to tackle the challenges surrounding the Education sector in the state. These challenges included lack of technology in classrooms to enable students become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and effective communicators in the 21st century and inadequate teachers training through professional development courses to empower the teachers transfer effective and accurate knowledge to students.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with consulting firm, GrandCentral, initiated a series of workshops, field visits to India, Finland and the UK amongst others and interactions with stakeholders across the state with a view to dimensioning the potential scope of ICT intervention in the Action Plan. The organizing framework adopted for the purpose was Attain!™ by GrandCentral – an ecosystem framework for deploying technology in education that coheres Policy, Technology and Capability/Culture in an organic maturity model. Attain!™ puts the student at the centre of a 21st century learning paradigm yet emphasizes the role of the teacher in driving learning outcomes. As a consequence, training and professional development is integrated with the framework to garner buy-in and sustainability.
This approach led to the establishment of a Digital Literacy Curriculum programme to establish the foundation for migration to a 21st century blended learning environment .The programme involved the establishment of 60 ICT Labs in schools geographically distributed across the state , an opted-in computer acquisition programme and training in Microsoft’s Digital Literacy Curriculum as means of equipping the teachers with the requisite tools to stay relevant in the 21st century blended learning environment. This was done across the 17 Local government areas in Cross River State, in which approximately 10,000 teachers were to be trained.