ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

COVID-19 and future of learning [ICT Clinic]

Sadly, the world has to brace up because the dreaded COVID-19 virus would likely stay with us for a few more months, until a definitive cure or vaccine is discovered. Thankfully, scientists across the world are working tirelessly conducting multiple clinical trials all in a bid to find a solution. It is hoped that science will once again save humanity from the COVID-19 plague as it did during the 1918 Spanish flu and others that followed.

However, as no drug or vaccine has been found, the best that humanity can do is to prevent contracting the virus, by keeping social distancing, washing the hands often, with soap and water and using a face mask as directed by health officials. One of the extreme measures taken by many governments to prevent the spread of the virus was to lockdown towns and cities, within their countries, in which people were compelled to stay at home and businesses, schools, sporting, recreational and other activities had to cease. Schools, at all levels, (primary, secondary and tertiary), in Nigeria were also shut before the end of the term and the pupils and students were compelled to stay at home as well.

Students have, thus, been at home for the past seven weeks or thereabout, due to the lock-down. This has completely brought to a temporal halt, the hide of brick and mortar environment form of learning. Education has always been an integral part of human existence, especially, coming from the informal form of education, where parents have from time immemorial, taught their children values and ethics beyond the four walls of a classroom.

As societies advanced, there was the need to migrate the learning from the informal to the formal system of education. Curriculum and systems, had to be put in place, to drive this new structure but because society keeps on evolving, the need to learn outside the four walls of the classrooms, either, by necessity or otherwise has now become inevitable.

Technology has found its waynin enabling learning to be accessed, without visiting a class, while keeping up with the curriculum. It has made education easily and readily available to millions of people, simultaneously, through e-learning. Through e-learning, you go through a seamless, formal education, once you have an electronic device, (desktop computer, laptop, iPad, or even, your smartphone), Internet connectivity, and electricity or other forms of current to power your device.

The importance of e-learning, especially, in this pandemic era, cannot be overemphasised. With all institutions of learning shut down, in many countries of the world, including Nigeria, e-learning medium, has now taken over the education space and as far as, COVID-19 persists, schools in Nigeria may not be opening, anytime soon. Edtech companies have developed platforms to bring much-desired learning, to students at all levels.

“With countries adopting e-learning, as a means of minimizing the disruption in education, during the COVID-19 pandemic, our — Finish Reading on the Punch

About the author

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr

CFA hosts Tech Trends on Channels Television, writes the ICT Column in the Punch Newspapers & also blogs on cfagbata.com.

CFA currently serves as the African Regional Director of Founder Institute.

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