Our doubts over effectiveness of online lessons- FCT residents
As schools across Nigeria remain closed in an effort to curtail the spread of the deadly covid-19 pandemic, efforts to recover the academic calendar and schemes of work have tilted towards virtual learning. While the method presents a viable alternative to many schools and their students, some Abuja residents who spoke to Chux NZEH and Williams ABAH expressed doubts over its effectiveness in a predominantly poor country. Excerpts:
HASSAN MUHAMMED: Online teaching adopted by many schools is a good idea. But it is still not suitable to some students. Virtual education requires a lot of facilities such as electronic gadgets and smart phones. How many parents and guardians can afford them?
Besides, our schools do not have modern technology for effective e-learning. With the situation of things, I do not think online/virtual education covers up to fifty per cent of student population in the country.
We always apply fire brigade approach to all sensitive issues instead of being proactive. If before now, government had put adequate measures in place for online education, it would not be like a strange thing. How can you do online learning without furnishing students with the required facilities?
For me, I am not sure students can cover their termly work through that online teaching, because the needed facilities are not in place.
CHIDI OKOLO: So far, online lessons are helping students to meet up with their academic activities, especially those in higher institutions. If not for the online learning some of the schools would have lost a whole academic calendar.
However, for those in primary and secondary schools, I do not think they can have access to virtual learning facilities. Most of the teachers at that level are not equip with internet facilities. In fact, some of them cannot even operate android phones talk more of operating a computer.
Authorities should not rely on them. I suggest government extends the school term to enable them cover the months lost during the lockdown. This pandemic has really taught us a big lesson.
Imagine government schools not having e-learning facilities such as computers. How can they use the online platform to reach their students, when the gadgets are not in place? I think government needs to go back to the drawing board to address the decay in our educational system.
BENJAMIN UGBA: Covid-19 has brought a lot of changes to all facets of human life. We are living in a very challenging environment. I can tell you that the level of participation in the online and virtual education is very low. Students are not used to this system.
Most parents and guardians organised home lessons for their children. The so-called online teaching is not easy for parents as some of them cannot afford to buy gadgets for their children.
My verdict on the assessment of online and virtual learning is that it is poor. We are yet to upgrade our education to that standard. Even in higher institutions, students are still not conversant with the online teaching. We need to reform our educational system to meet global standards.
Online learning is good in the sense that it brings education to your home, but it is not the right channel for every student. Some students simply learn better in a collaborative setting than they do on their own.
Online education requires more self-motivation. It can be hard for some students to stay motivated when they would rather be doing something else.
Also, those living in the rural areas have no access to the internet and that makes online learning ineffective in the areas. Parents at the grassroots communities are mainly farmers and therefore cannot provide the essential tools for their wards to engage in online education.
Government should think out possible ways of carrying students in rural areas along on this online/virtual education issue.
Online education is very important especially in this era of Covid-19 when everything is not fully functional.
It is making a positive impact in the teaching and learning of students across the world. But one disadvantage about online lessons is the inability of poor students to have access to it.
DAVID EKPO: Online/virtual education has come to stay. What this means is that students can study from a distance and acquire same knowledge as if they were in the classroom. I think that is the future of learning globally and we have to adapt to this new reality.
The challenge we have in Nigeria is that we are said to be the poverty capital of the world which means that most Nigerians cannot afford at least an android phone to enable them participate. Another challenge is that internet connection to sustain such engagements for hours is also expensive.
So I think government should intervene with regards to the cost of data for internet connection. The price should be reduced to make it more affordable and effective for people at the grassroots, so that more persons especially those at the grassroots to ensure it becomes an inclusive process.
When we get to the point when we can make the process more inclusive, which would be the best way of making education more accessible to all and sundry. This would reduce the high level of illiteracy in the country as people can study from home and offices for convenience.
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