Opening Futures for Nigerian Education – Integrating Educational Technologies with Indigenous Knowledge and Practices

Biliamin Adekunle Adeyeye, Jon Mason


This paper highlights some key historical perspectives and antecedents of African Indigenous knowledge (AIK) and practices while identifying ‘open’ futures and opportunities for the application of digital technologies for educational opportunities that build on this cultural base. The role and negative impact of colonialism in the under-development of AIK is examined in this context together with the impact of post-colonial and contemporary corruption in further undermining the value of Indigenous knowledge systems. Two key concepts are identified as a counterpoint to this: the resilience of AIK and ‘local wisdom’ and the openness underpinning much of the ongoing digital revolution. This natural alignment can help guide the integration of Indigenous-based knowledge and practices and the deployment of open and distance learning in the re-birth of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS). Openness is a pivotal concept here for it is integral to both the architecture of the Web and in its ongoing evolution. Given the identified opportunities associated with digital technology, and despite the challenges, it is argued that there is an unequivocal need for AIKS to explore the advantages of open education resources and practices in promoting this rebirth that is also consistent with modern science and technologies in Africa and beyond.


AIK; indigenous technology; open distance education; open education resources; open educational practice; Nigeria

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