How COVID-19 has introduced Online learning to the World’s School System
Nigeria as a country has been affected by the Corona Virus pandemic and the world at large. Schools, markets, churches and other public places have been closed down to contain the spread of the virus and online learning embraced as the way forward as school kids observe stay at home order.
Education has taken a dramatic turnaround with the rise of online learning whereby teaching is undertaken remotely on a digital platform.
Online learning has the concept of aiding the learner and the teacher to involve in a learning process while operating at different locations at the same time.
With the advent of online technological advancement, there has been a leap in the education operational system from the normal face to face interaction of teachers with students in a classroom to a unique digital interactive platform.
The concept of online learning was adapted by schools as an added tool to increase learning strategies amongst students.
The Corona Virus pandemic made the Nigerian government to suggest and opt for online learning as the major and only viable way or source of gaining quality education during the lockdown of schools due to Corona virus pandemic.
The Nigerian government has always strived to meet the unending demands of the populace and has equally tried to make life comfortable for the people. It is also the responsibility of the government to cater for the wellbeing of the people at all sectors.
In the quest of satisfying the people, they government might end up formulating policies that favors the rich elites more than the poor people. The online learning is one of such misleading policies.
It is important to enumerate certain implications pertaining to online learning on students living in the rural areas and those staying in the urban areas.
Obvious questions have to be raised and direct answers have to be given in order to outline the consequential effects of online Learning on the students living in this separate entity.
Some factors that will directly and indirectly affect the effectiveness of the policy has to be harnessed. They are;
Knowledge of Internet It is imminent to know how many children in the rural areas have been exposed to phone or computer either in school or at home.
It is inarguably accepted that a well-known fact that despite the high rate at which Internet has been embraced by the nation; there is a glaring difference in the exposure, adoption and usage of Internet between the rich and poor kids.
In a typical village setting, an adult does not know how to operate the least class of smart phone. Despite the explorative nature of children and youths, the usage of smart phone has been a hard nut to crack in the rural areas.
Schools in rural areas are not equipped with Internet infrastructures. Government do not intend taking the risk of installing online learning gadgets in dilapidated structured schools in the rural area for fear of vandalism.
Hence, how then will these technologically deranged students participate in an online learning?
Efficient Operation The student’s efficiency in manipulating these Internet’s gadgets raises great concern. Students in the urban areas may likely have access to online education facilities but have limited expertise.
Some of the students get easily acquainted with the processes of the Internet’s while some lag behind claiming that the Internet’s process too cumbersome.
In some schools, the number of Internet facilities is not equivalent to the number of students and this makes it more rigorous to assimilate and really understand how to operate computers.
Tutors of online education are limited as compared to the number of students thus having a negative effect on student’s efficiency in acquiring digital knowledge to access online learning digital platform.
Purchasing Strength Online learning occurs in the comfort of your home. With a click of the button, you are at a given platform to receive lessons from an online instructor.
With 60% of Nigerians living below average standard of life, many parents and guardians cannot afford to buy these online gadgets because of its high cost to enjoy this advanced technology benefits.
There has been leverage on financial commitment by parents bordering on school issues due to free education scheme in almost all the states of the federation. The recent recommendation of online learning will pose as threat to the poor parents.
Proximity To Online Learning Centres (E-learning)
The Federal Government has opened well equipped e- learning centre. It is of note that these centres are located in towns. Even the few online learning centres that are opened in the rural areas are not spacious to accommodate the thronging of students.
In some cases, when most students trek long distance to these e-learning centres, they get so tired to concentrate on the subject matter.
The big question is; how many students in villages can afford transportation fare to Federal government free e-learning centers in town?, How will students in the rural areas be afforded equal luxury compared to students in town?
Online Learning And The Fate Of The Poor Kids
In harnessing the effectiveness of online education policy, we will keep on answering questions with questions because of the critical condition of aligning the poor kids with the rich kids.
The aim of online learning of being a potential instrument for bridging the gap in educational development to maintain literacy rate during the pandemic may not succeed due to cumbersome processes of online learning and shortcomings of technological and economic background of the students.
Even though, many Centers have been established and equipped with different online gadgets and instructors, have we cared to ask if everyone in the circle of education has benefitted and what is the concept of online learning to the poor kids based on their background.
Instead of narrowing the gap of halted educational activities caused by the Corona Virus pandemic by introducing online education, there has been an increase in the disinterest of school activities on the side of the poor kids because this method of learning is alien to them.
Apart from general problems associated with online learning such as poor network connectivity, poor image readability, poor sound quality and so on. Online learning platform negative effects is more vulnerable amongst the poor kids.
On a general note, studies has shown that students and teachers relationship is relatively very poor in the country especially in government school. Online learning will maximize the connectivity gap during question and answer session in the class.
Since there has been rampant cases of notorious cultist clash amongst students in the country especially government schools, teachers has decide to stay on their lanes while the students run wild.
This act has affected the student-teacher relationship to the extent that the teachers only teaches and go out of class without interaction with the students in order not to ask the wrong students (a cultist) a question which might ensue in a tussle.
When this situation could not be arrested on a normal classroom face to face interaction, what then will happen when all students are mandated to participate in an online learning platform where there is a question answer overlap is a notorious problem caused by poor network.
There will be no motivation amongst students. Students will no longer encourage each other to be studious. The technologically deranged students who are likely the poor kids will be frustrated and opt out of the online learning platform.
Based on lack of fundamental background of online technicality, poor kids are more prone to the positive effect of online learning. At this juncture, online learning has become a fallacy to the poor kids.
It is widely believed that quality education is derivable in private schools in Nigeria as such rich parents in Nigeria patronizes private schools than gmost government schools. It is believed that private schoolsgo through high accreditation standard than government schools.
Private schools has high competition to attaining greater educational heights.
It is also believed that high morale standards and values are inculcated into this pupils in private schools unlike government schools that showcase high level of lackadaisical approach towards management and control of the school system.
The awkward manner in government School is glaring in the vandalism of school gadgets without proper sanction of culprit to serve as a deterrent to others.
At the height of it all, most of the poor kids attend government schools. The chance of gaining online educational benefits is higher amongst the rich kids while the children of the poor keep sinking low at the advent of implementation of online learning.