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Monday, June 22, 2015

Free Internet Helps Northern Nigeria University Students Learn

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"In Nigeria, more than 100 million people are not connected to the Internet because of poor infrastructure, and on the few networks that offer the service, it's expensive and unreliable. A new project has come up to give people - especially university students - a resource for offline viewing at no cost." reports Mohammed Yusuf.

A computer instructor at Ahmadu Belo University in Zaria, Northern Nigeria takes first year student of archeology through the use of eGranary offline digital library use.
Photo: Voice of America

The offline eGranary Digital Library is an innovative technology developed by a U.S.-based non-profit organization called the WiderNet.

The offline library provides digital educational resources to institutions like Ahmadu Belo University, which lacks adequate Internet access.

Kasa Mathias, head of the database unit of the university, said students can access tens of thousands of educational materials without much problem.

“We are interested in sanitizing our students, especially undergraduate… We give them background information on the available databases that are available they can use for their research work their assignments especially projects and sometimes to carry them through sensitizing new databases that are available for them,” said Mathias.

First-year student of archeology Ibitoye Idowu said easy access to university reading material, documents and journals has made learning easy for him.

“You find some website you cannot get enough information some information are even just off what you are looking for. Now even it makes reading easier for me, just coming down here I will be able to get what I want and go through it and I would understand even better. than because not every lecturer knows really how express what he has,” said Idowu.

The innovation puts millions of digital academic documents, multimedia work and websites onto a server in the university. The information is then available to students at no cost, whether there is Internet or not.


Source: Voice of America

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