Tuesday 1st November, Session 6b,13:30 – 15:00, Ruby AuditoriumGIS Education and Training:The Missing Link?Dekolo, S. and Oduwaye, L.Theme sponsored by:Open Spatial Solutions
GIS EDUCATION ANDGIS EDUCATION ANDTRAINING: THE MISINGTRAINING: THE MISINGLINK?LINK?Dr. Leke Oduwaye 1 and Samuel Dekolo 2Dr. Leke Oduwaye 1 and Samuel Dekolo 21Department of Urban and Regional Planning,1Department of Urban and Regional Planning,University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, NigeriaUniversity of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria2Department of Town and Regional planning,2Department of Town and Regional planning,Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, Lagos, NigeriaLagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria
SummaryBuilding of infrastructure for geo-information isgaining prominence in most African countries.However the development and adoption ofGeographic Information Technologies requiresthat potential users are made aware of itsbenefits and that there exists a body ofadequately trained personnel at all levels toimplement, manage and operate the systems;Only education and training can help achieve this.
Objectives• This presentation examines the responseto GIS education and training needs inNigeria• It draws from experiences gained indeveloping GIS courses and curricula inhigher education• It suggest the paper suggests aframework for implementing GISeducation in developing countries.
SDISpatial Data Infrastructure isdefined as the technology, policies,standards, and institutionalarrangements necessary to acquire,process, store, distribute andimprove the utilization of geospatialdata from different sources and fora wide range of potential users
Spatial DataInfrastructure (SDI)SDI=Geospatial data sets+Metadata+Clearinghouses+policies and standards+Human Capacity
Human Capacity=The Gap• A major challenge facing Nigeria and most African countriesthat inhibit the implementation of geospatial technologies atthis time is a lack of trained manpower.• In most GIS projects, much concern is on cost of data,hardware and software; less attention is given to personnel• The key issue for success lies in the people responsible formanaging, implementing and using the systems.• Without properly educated and trained personnel with visionand commitment to the project, such project may not besustainable.• Moreover, the human capacity is on major component ofSDI, without which the objectives of the GSDI will not berealized.
Training and EducationConcepts• The role of training and education is crucial to any GISimplementation. Training and education are fundamentallydifferent processes which are used to accomplish similar butunique objectives• Education emphasizes the salient features of GIS andimparts a conceptualization of the more generic GIS• Training instills sufficient familiarity to enable thedevelopment, operation and management of specific systems• . One cannot be a substitute for the other, but complementeach other.
Training• Training is an intensive process that isgenerally delivered in compressed timeformats (e.g. Two days to two weeks),which uses specialized instructions with apractical emphasis and requiresconcentrated attention on the part of thetrainee. It is geared to immediateimprovements in a trainee’s performanceskills.
Education• Education on the other hand is a muchlonger term process that results fromgeneral instruction in a variety of areas,which has a theoretical emphasis and isgeared to knowledge acquisition andsynthesis. Education results from generalcourses and empirical experiences withinterdisciplinary and professionalorientations
GIS EDUCATIONFRAMEWORKS:OBJECTIVISM OR COSTRUCTIVISM?• Objectivism and constructivism are two paradigms thathave formed the basis of GIS teaching models: teachingABOUT GIS and teaching WITH GIS.• Constructivism holds that knowledge is not transmittedfrom one knower to the other but is built up (constructed)by the learner himself• Objectivism assumes that there is a real world andknowledge can be transmitted from the knower (teacher) tothe learner
Objectivism:Teaching ABOUT GISThis is a training model, which focuson GIS as a technology and studentsare taught to use it.Emphasis is on technical aspect ofGIS such as data handling andinformation management.
Constructivism:Teaching WITH GISThe latter emphasizes the process ofgeographic enquiry and learning toreason spatially, whereby this helps thestudents to construct understanding.This will give students and teachers alikethe ideal environment to constructunderstanding about complex geographicrelationships
Duality of GIS EducationIn essence, GIS educationhis concept involves thetwo aspects; teachingabout GIS essentiallydeals with either SpatialDATA handling orgeographicalINFORMATIONmanagement while teachingwith GIS concentratesmore on the inquiry ofgeographical KNOWLEDGEand the development ofspatial INTELLIGENCE
What is the difference• A clear distinction is necessary among data, information,knowledge, and intelligence.• Data refers to a mere description of phenomena in the realworld.• Information is the processed and filtered data withcoherent logical order.• Knowledge is derived from the processed information byimposing and testing a cause-effect proposition madeaccording to previous knowledge.• Knowledge is converted into intelligence whenever it isapplied to derive new ideas or solve a real problem
Please Ponder on these• Reflecting on GIS education in Nigeria or other Africancountries; have we been concentrating on training oreducation?• Are we concerned on the technical aspect of thetechnology or the application to solve problems (diseases,poverty, environmental degradation, social imbalance,conflicts, violence and others) that seemed to make theDark Continent darker?• Except GIS education moves from objectivism toconstructivism, from training to education and fromtechnical issues to real life application, we may end up asociety data-rich, information poor, knowledge-starved andintelligence-devoid
GIS in Higher Education• Out of the 51 universities in the country,none at present offers GIS as anundergraduate degree course; only fewhave GIS built into courses like geography,urban and regional planning, land surveying,and geology. Most of these courses run fora semester or two and aimed at givingintroductory knowledge of GIS theory andpractice.
Universities with PostgraduateProgrammes in GIS• University of Ibadan• University of Lagos• Obafemi Awolowo University• Federal University of Technology, Minna• Federal University of Technology, Akure• University of Abuja
GIS at University ofIbadanThe university developed its GISLAB in 1996under a linkage program with Iowa University,U.S.A. It runs a professional M Sc degree in GIS,which lasts for 12 calendar months (2 semesters).The course is open to graduates of all disciplinesand its main objective is to train candidates to aprofessional level where they can apply GIS invarious field of human endeavour. Since theinception of this course over 300 students havebeen trained.
GIS at the University ofLagos• Department of GeographyGIS education has been very active in the Department of Geography of theUniversity of Lagos. The GIS and Remote Sensing laboratory was set up in1988. GIS is built into the curriculum of 300 and 400 level students asComputer Applications to Geography and Advance GIS.The department also runs a post graduate diploma (PGD) and MSc inGeoinformatics which is open to graduates of geography, surveying andother environmental sciences. The PGD lasts for 2 semesters while theMSc takes 3 semesters. Successful MSc students may be admitted to theMPhil or PhD degree program• Department of Survey and GeoinformaticsThe department also has GIS in its undergraduate curriculum after whichstudents can to be admitted into a higher degree - MSc, MPhil or PhD insurvey and Geoinformatics. The department also runs a professionalMasters degree in Geoinformatics.
GIS in Polytechnics andCollegesFew polytechnics and colleges have alreadydeveloped and integrated GIS into theirurban planning and surveying curriculum:Federal School of Survey Oyo;– the Lagos State Polytechnic– the Polytechnic, Ibadan and– Yaba college of TechnologyThe Federal School of Survey also awardspost graduate diploma in Geoinformatics.
GIS TRAINING ANDEDUCATION INLAGOS STATEA survey was carried out last year to last year at the LagosState Polytechnic with the following objectives:• to determine the standard of GIS education in all theuniversities and polytechnics in Lagos State• the survey also wanted to establish staff capacities in theLagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and UrbanDevelopmentThe result revealed that education and training was themissing ingredient. In spite of enthusiasm and acceptabilityof the technology, only 5% of the staff have the basiceducation or training to operate or manage a GIS.
GIS EDUCATIONSTANDARDOn the standard of GIS education, the survey shows thatteaching GIS in higher education is quite new and thefollowing were discovered:• There is no coherent curriculum in all the schools, eachschool developed a curriculum to suit their own objective.• Shortfall in the number of faculty with GIS experience• Inadequate or ill-equipped GIS laboratory.• No Licensed GIS Software or none at all• Inadequate funding of the GIS programmes
STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVEGIS EDUCATION• Determine the need: Carry out a needsassessment survey to determine users or viewerswho needs GIS training and education• Develop a standard Curriculum at All Levels ofGIS Education• Ensure Cooperation and Collaborations amongvarious educational commissions and institutions• Re-emphasize Training and Technical Education
GIS Training and EducationNeed in Nigeria• Decision Makers and Politicians: This category is responsible for decision makingpolicies to adopt GIS or spend funds; however they are often neglected. Thereforeshould get a general awareness of the potentials and benefits (ROI) of GIStechnology.• Managers and Administrators: This category is answerable to donors (government orprivate) and could be personnel from user departments; they must understand theconceptual basis of GIS operations and analysis.• GIS Researchers/ Scientist: GIS researchers are scientists that use GIS as a toolin their discipline and use or develop specialized and advanced theories in GIS. Whilethe scientist focuses on advancing the science of GIS and develop new techniques.These need post graduate research degree in GIS.• GIS Managers/ Specialist: They are professionals responsible for the overallsystem management and administration. Such requires a professional degree in GISand must have skills for knowledge in computers, systems implementation andpersonnel management.• GIS Systems Designers and Analysts: the former are responsible for identifyingthe need; choose appropriate software; systems specifications and analysis of thecurrent systems. They need a minimum of BS degree in GIS and must have vastknowledge in IT.
GIS Training andEducation Need• Application programmers and Tool Developers: They implement system analysisspecifications as programs and develop customized applications• Operators, technical, and maintenance personnel: These are computing techniciansresponsible for daily use and maintenance of the hardware and software environment. These may not necessarily be educated in spatial technologies but incomputer related areas up to college level.• Spatial data technicians These are not professionals but have been trained to inputdata, scan, and digitize maps; convert data and maintain data standards; make backupcopies of the spatial data. They need a minimum of college or polytechnic education inspatial related courses.• Other Users: these may occasional or frequent users of spatial information and maynot be responsible in any way for the production or modification of such information.They need to have a general knowledge (at least access, view and manipulate) of GIS.• The Public: They need to a general awareness of what GIS is and how it is used. Thismay be done by introducing basic information technology instructions at pre-varsitylevel; and teaching geography related subjects with GIS at elementary and secondarylevel.
Suggested Levels of GISEducation in NigeriaKNOWLEDGE REQUIREDPostgraduate levelUniversity levelCollege levelElementary levelSecondary levelLEVELOFGISKNOWLEDGE
ConclusionThis presentation is not extensive but asnap shot introduction to GIS educationissues in Nigeria. It was able to examinethe development and efforts made so farin GIS education and training. Ithighlighted the gaps and suggested aframework that will involve teachingABOUT and WITH GIS at all educationallevels, this could be adopted by developingcountries.
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