Thursday, 9 October 2014

Globalization & the New Media versus Education in Africa by Sesan Michael Johnson

It is no gainsaying that the new media: the Internet, DVD, etc, had tremendously aided education through the adoption and usage of e-learning by some African states. There has been an increasing use of the new media, especially, the Internet by African universities and other educational institutions. Admission and examinations are now being conducted online and African students now make active use of e-library as well as the use of search engine optimization in carrying out their research works. The degree of importance of the applicability of the new media to improve education in Africa is exploding and expanding daily and continually. Globalization and the new media have further increased the level of interaction and collaboration between and among African students and lecturers and their counterparts in Europe, the Americas and other parts of the world.

However, it has also been observed that over indulgence in the use of the new media by the active African youths had detrimentally affected the quality of education and performance of students in Africa. Precious times are wasted playing around with mobile phones, and browsing the net. Students are no longer patronizing the library to read and to conduct research, whereas, this accounted for the demise of the reading culture in Africa.

Another negative aspect is the use of abbreviations in text messaging (SMS) on mobile phones and chatting in virtual places such as Facebook. This had eaten deep into the fabrics of the students to the extent that it has been observed that most students are no longer writing correct spelling and good grammatical structure in their examination essays again. They make use of the online abbreviations that they are accustomed to. It is not an exaggeration that this is predominant in most Nigerian universities and it is worrisome.

In April 2010, Kenyan media reported that the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims had banned the satellite broadcasting by DSTv in Mandera town, North Eastern Province. “Also outlawed are video dens, blamed for eroding moral values among the youth and causing poor academic performance.” 13

The concept of a media culture has evolved owing to the increased volume, varied and importance of mediated signs and messages and the interplay of interlaced meanings. At present, the global media culture is a pedagogic force that has the potential to exceed the achievements of institutionalized forms of education. Henry Giroux succinctly puts it this way: “with the rise of new media technologies and the global reach of the highly concentrated culture industries, the scope and impact of the educational force of culture in shaping and refiguring all aspect of daily life appear unprecedented. Yet, the current debates have generally ignored the powerful pedagogical influence of popular culture, along with the implications it has for shaping curricula, questioning the relationship between the culture of schooling and the culture of everyday life.”14

End notes
13 Daily Nation (Kenya), April 27, 2010.

14  H. Giroux, Impure Acts: The Practical Politics of Cultural Studies (New York and London, Rutledge, 2000), 32

No comments:

Post a Comment