By Oluwayemisi Ojo, Global Schools Advocate Nigeria (2019) for the Global Schools Advocate Team, Nigeria
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a rude shock to all our lives. This includes leaving at least 1.52 billion (87%) of student population out of school as a result disrupting the over 10 years of gain in the educational sector. While it is clear that government of the world all over are looking for the solution to this resulting pandemic in education, many have posed the easier solution of online learning through the use of media and digital tools. According to a study on the issue of access to technology enabled learning, children from high-socio- economic status families use a wider range of devices and go ‘online’ more often, while one in five children from low socio-economic status homes never or hardly ever use the internet. How exactly efficient is this method in the face of lack of accessibility to these tools especially in developing countries and in rural communities?
On Saturday 10 th June 2020, the global school community in Nigeria held a webinar for educators where we explore some of the answers to the question of finding innovative ways to continue education during the pandemic. Four of our guest speakers Dr. Shuaibu A. Emmanuel from FCT- UBEB, Nigeria, Ebele Agu from WAAW foundation USA, Princess Allotey from Kids and Maths Ghana and Amanda Abrom the Program Officer, Global School Program gave some innovative ways education can continue during the pandemic.
Community based education:
Community based education should be explored for smaller communities. This model works
well with children who come from the same communities. School-like platforms can be created within these communities by mapping the children, the available space, a willing adult who can help them use the learning material. In such community based set ups there are lots of opportunities for sharing of resources including TV sets, radios, public address system and at times digital equipment as well. Vickram Prethi from India had given a beautiful example of a community where the headmaster uses Public address system to deliver lessons to the pupils in that community, this way, they could sit by their homes and listen to the delivery and do as prompted.
Use of Local Media Tools:
Radio and TVs have been identified as a better way to disseminate learning for students who do not have access to digital tools. The FCT authorities in Nigeria, for instance, are working with Universal Basic Education Commission in Nigeria to provide CD lessons to students at home.The authorities have resorted to employing the use of radio programs by asking parents to provide transistor radios for their children learning. It is relatively cheap to obtain and easy to use even at the rural community levels.
Digital skills training for teachers:
In the developing countries like Nigeria, even though a lot of teachers have access to mobile
devices, many schools in communities lack technology tools and skills to drive such learning.
This lack of access to smartphones, laptops, electricity, internet facilities and digital skills for
teachers especially in the rural communities has made intervention in education during the
pandemic uninclusive. There is need to train teachers on the digital skills. While this might pose some challenge due to social distancing rules especially at the moment, phone calls and messages can be used to deliver lessons on digital skills to teachers.
While there are speculations as to the effectiveness of some of these method in assessment and evaluation, there is need for a continual appraisal, monitoring and evaluation, and continuous research and adaptations of best methods in every region. Every means possible must be employed to secure the students back to school, and give them a deserving future.
Alagba Sorochi Branch
Fouad Adeola Balogun
Ogundeji Obadara Emmanuel
Abubakar Ibrahim Garba
Mashkur Abdulhamid Isa
Adeyemi Anjorin Ezekiel
Link for the recording of the seminar- https://tinyurl.com/yycrkuex
1 “Inequalities in the Home Influence Children’s Digital Opportunities,” Parenting for a Digital Future (blog), January 9, 2019,
2 Continuation Of Learning In School Education Of Karnataka
Guidelines During Covid-19 Pandemic For Technology Enabled Education And Beyond published in July, 2020