The Digital Divide among Secondary School Students in Benin City Cosmopolis: An Analysis


This article analyses the technological differences among children in secondary school in Benin City cosmopolis and how this gap called digital divide is being widening. Highlights include the far reaching policy and government neglects on reforms for secondary schools as well as the role of libraries in helping to bridge the divide just like that of the western nations. Inequitable access to the Internet in Africa is attributable to the poor state of ICT infrastructure and lack of adequate investment in the society to support the new communication technology. In Nigeria, there is a disparity in the level of accessibility to ICT between private and public sectors of the economy. However, socio-economic status has played a more significant role in the digital divide. More visibly is in the different categories of private schools in the city. The richest schools have sufficient information communication technologies in enhancing the teaching learning process for secondary school students while the public schools run by government and other middle class private schools have no significant item attributable to digital community. Consequently, the libraries which are meant to serve the communities in helping to bridge this divide have done nothing to help their situation as a result of government. Libraries and information centres have a special role in providing information to all in order to reduce the gap between those who have the facilities to access digital information and those who do not. The country needs to improve the infrastructure of public schools and link them with community information centres. Educational decision-makers should act quickly, boldly and share information to build a critical mass of Internet-connected schools and trained teachers and create the African schools of the future.