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Microbiology Education in Nigeria: Common Training Deficits Could Be Addressed with Modern Educational Tools

    Author: Abdulwaheed Aishat1
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 16 February 2018 Accepted 19 March 2018 Published 26 April 2019
    • ©2019 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Phone: +2347063277072. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2019 vol. 20 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i1.1595
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    Abstract:

    Microbiology has developed as an important field of scientific training in Nigeria over the years. It is one of the early scientific fields introduced to the country. It has contributed to the development of the scientific identity of the country, through training of personnel and applications aimed at addressing microbial diseases that present a public health concern. Recent diseases, especially of microbial origin, have however exposed the poor state of microbiology in Nigeria. Recurrent but avoidable infectious diseases such as diarrhea and cholera have led to the loss of several lives. Although the situation is complex, at least some of these shortcomings could be compensated for by enhancing the quality of training delivered to future microbiologists and related healthcare professionals and educators. An analysis of microbiology curricula in Nigerian institutions compared with those of developed countries identified several gaps. Although inadequacy in training resources, expert faculty, and funding are well recognized, it is believed that several of these training gaps could be addressed through innovative educational approaches. In this paper, I discuss how key microbiology education weaknesses in the Nigerian context could be overcome using modern, low-cost educational tools that are accessible even in the face of existing institutional challenges. Topics such as molecular cloning and PCR are discussed, together with how specific virtual classroom and related internet-based tools can be applied to teach these topics in resource-limited contexts. This paper should therefore be relevant to microbiology educators in most developing countries.

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v20i1.1595
2019-04-26
2019-05-24

Abstract:

Microbiology has developed as an important field of scientific training in Nigeria over the years. It is one of the early scientific fields introduced to the country. It has contributed to the development of the scientific identity of the country, through training of personnel and applications aimed at addressing microbial diseases that present a public health concern. Recent diseases, especially of microbial origin, have however exposed the poor state of microbiology in Nigeria. Recurrent but avoidable infectious diseases such as diarrhea and cholera have led to the loss of several lives. Although the situation is complex, at least some of these shortcomings could be compensated for by enhancing the quality of training delivered to future microbiologists and related healthcare professionals and educators. An analysis of microbiology curricula in Nigerian institutions compared with those of developed countries identified several gaps. Although inadequacy in training resources, expert faculty, and funding are well recognized, it is believed that several of these training gaps could be addressed through innovative educational approaches. In this paper, I discuss how key microbiology education weaknesses in the Nigerian context could be overcome using modern, low-cost educational tools that are accessible even in the face of existing institutional challenges. Topics such as molecular cloning and PCR are discussed, together with how specific virtual classroom and related internet-based tools can be applied to teach these topics in resource-limited contexts. This paper should therefore be relevant to microbiology educators in most developing countries.

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Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2019 vol. 20 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i1.1595
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