A collage of selected Indian YouTubers
Image source: mediaindia.eu

As reported by Rest of World, Indian YouTube educators are playing a pivotal role in the academic lives of engineering students in Nigeria. Despite issues like accent barriers, these educators are preferred over classroom instructors for their ability to impart a deep understanding of complex courses. This report is based on the findings by Sekinat Motunrayo Ojeniyi and Samriddhi Sakunia.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Indian YouTube educators are gaining widespread popularity among Nigerian engineering students, supplementing their academic learning.
  • Despite language barriers, these Indian YouTube channels simplify complex concepts effectively.
    Channels such as NPTEL IIT Guwahati, Abdul Bari, Manocha Academy, and All About Electronics have seen considerable usage by Nigerian students.
  • This trend illustrates a stark contrast between the education systems of Nigeria and India, with the former struggling with insufficient funding and staffing.

Indian YouTubers Supplementing Education

In a landscape where conventional teaching methods are not providing sufficient comprehension of subjects, Indian educators on YouTube have become an integral part of the academic journey for Nigerian engineering students. Despite the accent barriers, YouTube channels are highly favored for their ability to facilitate a more profound understanding of intricate course material. This sentiment is not isolated; it’s echoed by thousands of students in Nigeria, as seen on social media platforms. These online educators offer an alternate learning route to students, compensating for the gaps left by classroom learning. In the words of electronics engineer Fasominu Oluwafemi, a Bells University of Technology in Ogun alumnus, Indian YouTubers were instrumental in bridging the gap and providing a more enriching educational experience during his undergraduate years,

“Even as accent barriers were a factor, they still helped me understand a lot of complex courses … [Indian YouTubers] were a lot better than the classroom lecturers in university.”

International Impact and Popularity

The increasing reliance of Nigerian students on Indian YouTube educators highlights the existing gaps in Nigeria’s education system. This system is currently grappling with significant challenges, including insufficient funding, outdated infrastructure, and a lack of skilled academic staff. These issues are even more accentuated within the realm of engineering studies. Senior Special Adviser to the President at the African Development Bank, ​Oyebanji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, termed the country’s engineering system “weak,” pointing out the lack of specialized research and product development infrastructure. Moreover, he voiced concerns over Nigeria’s scarcity of engineers, scientists, and researchers. These problems, when combined, create a learning environment that is less conducive for students, pushing them to seek resources elsewhere – such as Indian YouTube channels.

E-Learning Market Growth in Africa

The rise of Indian YouTube educators among Nigerian students clearly reflects Africa’s booming e-learning market. With an estimated worth of $2.8 billion last year, this market is projected to skyrocket to $5.2 billion by 2028, according to data from the independent market research platform Imarc Group. This surge has been propelled by the digital revolution and the increased accessibility of online resources like YouTube. As a testament to this, a research report from TechSmith, a software company, highlighted that YouTube is “the most popular place” for watching instructional videos. In 2021, a whopping 52% of respondents reported watching more than two educational videos per week, indicating a growing trend toward online learning in the continent.

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