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The word ‘inclusion and or inclusiveness’ had been interchangeably used in different contexts from advocacy of people with disabilities to addressing different phenomena across marginalized regions all over the world. The context through which this paper would beaming searchlights on is exponential framework make open education accessible to the underserved and marginalized countries or societies to achieve quality, equitable and accessible to education for all.
Open Society Foundations defines inclusive education as an even learning practices where “different and diverse students learning side by side in the same classroom. They enjoy field trips and after-school activities together. They participate in student government together and they attend same sport together” (Open Society Foundations, 2019). The diversity in this context is not limited to health or discomfort but all forms of differentiations in human race such as colour, gender, ethnicity, status and orientation. The classroom setting on the other hand, broadly pictured a template of a typical classroom with basic amenities and infrastructure that provide the same learning delivery whether by improvisation or by investment. Inclusive education in the publication of Open Learn was also defined as “a process of change and improvement within schools so that all children can be valued equally, treated with respect and provided with real learning opportunities” (OpenLearn, 2018).
The quest to achieve inclusive education across all forms remains a challenge for all global education stakeholders and key players due to age long of development and innovation between the global north and the south. The UNESCO’s Convention against Discrimination in Education 1960 (as highlighted in the UNESCO portal) under article 1 which states that:
“For the purposes of this Convention, the term `discrimination' includes any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference which, being based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition or birth, has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing equality of treatment in education and in particular:

(a) Of depriving any person or group of persons of access to education of any type or at any level;
(b) Of limiting any person or group of persons to education of an inferior standard;
(c) Subject to the provisions of Article 2 of this Convention, of establishing or maintaining separate educational systems or institutions for persons or groups of persons; or
(d) Of inflicting on any person or group of persons conditions which are in-compatible with the dignity of man”.

Open Education as an Alternative to Equitable and Inclusive Education in Africa in their publication on Open Education submitted that Open Education should be “opened” wherever and whenever it is adopted in its entirety. “Proponents of open education believe everyone in the world should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources, and they work to eliminate barriers to this goal. Such barriers might include high monetary costs, outdated or obsolete materials, and legal mechanisms that prevent collaboration among scholars and educators” (, 2012).
The UNESCO’s Convention against Discrimination in Education (as highlighted above) had in no small measure propelled the emergence of open education across all divides with substantial impact through technology and internet to bridge the gap between the education of the rich and the poor to black and white. Gallagher 2017 sighted the prevailing rationale for Open Education as an alternative to quality learning in African continent (on 10 Facts About Education in Africa). “Africa has the highest rates of educational exclusion in the world. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of 6 and 11 and one-third between the ages of 12 and 14 are out of school” (Gallagher, 2017). This gives credence to high penetration of open courseware and open educational resources to support the region on inclusion.
Wiley (2009, 2014 sighted in OU Forum) emphasized the open-door prospects for disadvantaged section of or marginalized system when adopting open educational resources which legally makes it possible makes this legally possible for advancing a culture of equality in all its forms as against exclusion by erecting various barriers. “A major premise of openness, in the context of Open Educational Resources (OERs) and the related open educational practices (OEPs), is that of sharing knowledge as embodied in the resources themselves and of enabling others to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute those resources for their own purposes” (Wiley, 2014).
Despite the accessibility of open educational resources and contents through technology and contributions of different world education providers and institutions through Creative Common Licenses, the great concern for African continent to access this opportunity to the fullest lies within the dictates of surmounting the challenges relating to accessibility of these platforms through affordable technologies and internet which is the cross cutting enabler for education. The Internet Society emphasized further the pragmatic approach to press further on the accessibility of access to technology with education as cited in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “The Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG4) commits countries to addressing these challenges and attaining universal pre-primary, primary and secondary education and gender equity, and promoting youth learning for employability. Such commitments require innovative approaches that go beyond simply building more educational institutions. One such innovative approach involves using educational technology in various ways” (Internet Society 2019).
Understanding the Constraints of Open Education In Developing Countries.

Of many impediments and constraints to open education in developing region like African continents, connectivity remains the top contemporary issue particularly in the area of accessibility, cost and regulations and ethical issues.

The gains of open access to education and digital contents created by world scholars, schools and institutions through creative commons and other allied open educational resources had been hampered due to criticisms internet penetration had faced within the school system in most African countries especially Nigeria despite internet education, technology integration in schools by students and teachers in most viable regions.

Challenges to Open Education – A case Study of Nigeria as a Developing Nation

Despite the high connectivity of internet and bandwidth that has supported the maximization of emerging technologies in workplaces and different sectors, the school system has not had its fair share in the development as compared to the rest of education ecosystems around the world. From the background research and surveys, the 3 major hindrances to the choice of internet connectivity from the perspective of a school administrator often lies on the cost of data, access to internet service and the management of the disruptions and distractions internet is posed to affect the students’ learning outcomes.

According to the recent statistics on internet and connectivity with over 4 Billion on the planet lacking internet access, Nigeria has only 92.3 Million internet users with about 47.1 percent of the population. Out of this research, there were almost 50 million mobile internet users which makes mobile technology more popular with the country to be considered a mobile-first market where infrastructure and online usage development skipped wide-ranging desktop computers and leapfrog to mobile devices with almost three quarters of Nigerian web traffic being generated via smartphones (Statista, 2019).

Further findings showed that Nigeria as a nation where an average citizen living less than two dollars per day expends 242 billion Naira (663 Million Dollars) to access telecommunication service from voice to short message service (SMS) and to data bundles with an estimated value of current Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) which stands at $3.85 monthly (Business a.m, 2019). This picture the state of internet access and cost value in both urban and rural schools with most state government allocating less than 7 percent of their budgets to education against the recommended 26 percent in the last 10 years. “The details of the 2018 proposed budget and allocations across the different ministries show a clear disconnection from the laudable intents of the government and the budget. The Federal Government spending on education relative to its total expenditure has fallen from 2013 high of 7.53% to a low of 6.65% in 2016 (BudgIT, 2018).

There is no doubt that various resolutions arising from symposia, conferences and policy meetings at the government and industry stakeholder levels on internet and education across Nigeria had given rise to a convergent submission that the rate of cybercrimes perpetuated by children and youths in Nigeria is attributed to internet access in schools hence, the advocacy to ban internet in schools despite internet firewalls, privacy, protection rights and server address blockage of porous websites. This has in no way further contributed to internet restrictions in schools till date.

Edubox Technology therefore was birthed as an innovative technological solution that tends be a bridge between the cost, access and porosity or distractions which are germane issues confronting technology and internet integration in Nigerian schools. This is expected to be a learning tool for all schools a social impact support driven projects to be funded by governments, philanthropists and international donor agencies and or business driven concept in its design as applicable for sustainability.

BudgIT (2018) Public Education Financing: Issues and Recommendations. (n.d.). [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

Gallagher (2017) 10 Important Facts About Education in Africa - The Borgen Project. [online] The Borgen Project. Available at:

Society (2019) The Internet and Education in Africa | ISOC Internet Society. [online] Available at:

, A., Comas-Quinn, A. and Thompson, S. (2014). Inclusion In, and Exclusion From, Open Education Communities. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2014(2), The Open University. [Accessed 24 Nov. 2019].

OpenLearn (2018) 12 things you need to know about inclusion in schools. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Nov. 2019]. (2012). What is open education? [online] Available at:

Society Foundations. (2015) The Power of Letting Children Learn Together. [online] Available at:

. (2017) Nigeria: number of internet users 2023 | Statistic. [online] Available at:
(2011) Convention against Discrimination in Education. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

UNESCO (2017). Inclusion in education. [online] UNESCO. Available at:

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Odeogbola (Ayodele Odeogbola) is a Technology teacher. He teaches mostlyK-12

students. He is from Nigeria.


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    2 years ago

    This is really interesting and insightful!

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