On online learning

As parents all over the world continue to embrace online schooling as a learning option for their children since the lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian schools should rethink their digital limits and education models by taking their classes online.

Despite the increase of digital learning models, the delivery of education in Nigeria has mainly been through in-person learning taking place in classrooms with a very little embrace of digital options by schools. Indeed, even private after-school lessons at home typically involve in-person sessions with a tutor despite the growing abundance of online options and resources.

While Nigeria has eased its lockdown restrictions, some educational institutions have remained closed. The country’s private universities have responded by continuing to develop online learning while many public universities are waiting for their physical facilities to reopen before restarting classes.

Online tools, for example, social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, and video applications such as Zoom as well as an in-house e-learning management system, have kept academic work going. There are cases where virtual convocations have been conducted by public and private universities; these are some of the advantages of taking education online.

Although some online classes don’t offer the kind of instant feedback from the students a teacher would get via in-person classes, many schools also view online learning as a makeshift for the lockdown period after which physical learning would kick-off, for this purpose, there is low execution of online learning.

Schools especially private schools should explore using sites, though some of these platforms are one way medium of communication that is instant feedbacks are not possible but class work and assignment can be given to students.

Private school owners, stakeholders and governmental agencies should accept that school has changed and learning has moved to another medium, the fast we realise this as a country the better for us.

Despite schools reopening, virtual learning has come to stay and there are still lots of students who need alternative options to learn. Online classes are not only economical, but will also reduce overcrowding in schools, and many children can have access to quality education and teachers.

However, poor and expensive internet connection is a challenge to some students and some of these kids can’t afford to continuously attend school due to the economical effect of Covid-19 in the country.

Lanre Akinbo,

Lagos

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