It is despicable, but it is what it is; we no longer can talk all day and not mention COVID-19. True, it is sad, but as sad as it is, COVID-19 is changing our world and E-Learning for the first time is being talked about this largely among Nigerian students.
Too few smarts gave two whoops in hell about National Open University when it was premiered – for some students it still is “scam” as of today and for others, debasing. Few minds think about our distance learning systems – it is for the older they say, and largely any average Nigerian student would think of it lastly.
The systems which these programs operate (one close to e-learning), programs which we would rather not choose if given a chance is what we might inevitably have to look towards in the coming days. It is no news, some schools are turning gazes already.
E-learning; reasons why we should give a second thought on it.
- Flexibility: almost every student at least once in every five working days didn’t feel like doing school; some how, everything wasn’t great that morning, and horoscope was saying not too great a day. E-learning gives you a chance of taking courses at the absolute convenience of your time, at the maximum productivity. This ensures flexibility in terms of time and effort from both students and lecturers, ensuring optimal efficiency.
- Online learning accomodates everyone’s needs: for the working class who have to go to work and for some who work from home, online learning gives everybody a chance to school and learn something. Student’s who do “Work and Study” are better able to cope if they learn online when they are free to learn. It gives everyone under different circumstances equal chances to learn.
- Ease of access: with online courses, classes could easily be re-taken, ensuring better understanding as opposed to what our traditional school system offers us, a one time lecture. This helps students learn better and learn at their own pace, and not a dictated one.
- Closer rapport between lecturers and students is also ensured through e-learning platform chat box interfaces, making learning easier with easy means to ask questions via a chat box.
Among the several advantages, a number of which are not mentioned here, are a few disadvantages, of which a striking one is the questionable authenticity of a student’s work or examination, since anyone can do a project online rather than the actual student.
Talking about news, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) is set to commence lectures on E-Learning platforms, and strikingly they plan to use Zoom App. Analytically, you might want to ask what about the several indigent students who might not have money for data subscriptions, would their school fees waste while others learn? Of course, God knows the answer. As reported, in ending the update, students were told further instructions would be out soon on the MOUAU Website and other information channels, and were advised to stay tuned and stay safe. Signed by Prof. Gideon Onuekwusi, the Director, Information and Communication Technology, MOUAU.
Other schools who have attempted going the way of e-learning include Kaduna Poly and Rivers State University, among others as reported in previous news.
Analysing the current state of our educational system, Nigeria might not be best suited to adopt E-learning at the moment, but we could consider more of it in the decades to come, if our world remains exactly the same after this. We could better solidify our National Open University system and also the Distance Learning systems across tertiary institutions, in a way to start.