ON E-LEARNING IN NIGERIA: COVID-19 LOCKDOWN EDITION

Virtual education

Remember all those times you texted “Avoid me!!!😂” to all your friends
Well wishes do come true and apparently with a side of compulsory family time, extra errands
and more dishes for you to “wash it down”. Because African parents and chores are 5&6.


The last few weeks have been challenging and while everything has been shut down by the lock
down (see what I did there?🌝), some things have been going up; for example, data usage.


Movement bans don’t mean communication bans so everything has reverted to the only mean
of keeping the global economy alive: the internet. So everyone has been trying to catch up on
work, make more Tiktok videos and dreadfully, school. (just when we thought we could get away with an extended holiday).


Honestly, I think ‘e-learning’ and I wonder if we (Nigeria) are really prepared for it. With the
way things are going, it might turn out to be our primary means of education sooner than we
think.


Before COVID arrived, we were sitting in a classroom. A large % of our teaching methods leaned
heavily on this. A smaller fraction worked with a hybrid of both e-learning and the classroom
method and there’s still that part of the system that can’t afford access to the internet or
devices that will improve the quality of education.


As opposed to the very annoying 8:00 am classes we’re used to having, e-learning is a lot more
comfortable and flexible. What it does is that it presents a buffet of options for us to pick
whatever works best for us. But it’s like the revelation of this idea seems to be very fascinating
to lecturers because they can’t seem to give enough slides and assignments. They’re taking the
saying “learning never ends” a bit too seriously.


On a more serious note, we should consider whether we’re exploring all avenues provided by
the blessing of the internet to make this home school thing work for us.


Is having just slides and assignments enough? Are lecturers employing the use of videos to
expand knowledge? Are they tapping into the power of YouTube to find richer content?


Okay maybe I’m pushing it now knowing how some of our lecturers can be.
But then students will need to step in and cover up where the system hasn’t reached yet
because at the end of the day, it’s your result and you know whose house you’ll carry it to.


While all of this is going on, this is the best time for a feedback system to be created. One of the
major issues we have is that we’re so stuck on doing education the only way we’ve known since
1960 and that is honestly why we’ve not progressed.


You know what Albert Einstein said about insanity and doing the same thing the same way
yeah?

The point is, schools can send out questionnaires to help them improve the way things go on.
Preferably as anonymous messages (nobody is ready to face SDC at resumption abeg).


This is something student body councils should try pitching in this period.


Most importantly, self-education will take you far. Join that WhatsApp group and learn
something different.
The world will never be the same after this pandemic and we’ll need more than just a degree to
survive out there so, take the time to build yourself.


Please dears, wash your hands and don’t try any random recipe forwarded to you on WhatsApp
(shoutout to our mothers).
Stay Safe and Stay Home.

Image source: litmos.com

Written by Lois Samari.

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