As a result of the effects of COVID 19, the Ministry of Education have been urged by the House of Representatives to include in primary and secondary school curricula, online education and e-learning, for the sake of the millions of children who are out of schools due to the global pandemic.
The motion brought on the floor by Rep. Aniekan Umanah and The House agreed.
In presenting his motion, the lawmaker noted that “the outbreak of the Coronavirus has altered the educational calendar globally”.
He said “According to UNESCO, most Governments around the world have temporarily closed schools in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus; these nationwide closures are impacting over 72% of the world student population.
This has brought significant setbacks to academic endeavours with far-reaching impacts on more vulnerable and disadvantaged countries in the developing world such as Nigeria”.
Stating further, he said: “The COVID-19 induced schools closure has kept over 1.2 billion children out of classrooms and as a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive increase in the use of e-Learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. This sudden event has caused a shift from the classrooms in our nation’s schools, teachers and students have been forced to adjust and adapt to this unplanned and rapid move to online teaching and learning with no structure, training and equipment tools and are faced with inadequate preparations. The e-learning approach takes time and a gradual system of learning. Schools and colleges would have to develop a modular Structure, Database and Learning pattern supported with Efficient Communication and Internet backbone”.
He recalled “that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Education announced a free e-learning portal intended to create access to online education across the nation, as well as radio and television classrooms. But this has remained intentions as reports indicate that this is not working and therefore not serving the desired need of closing the educational gaps, due to lack of instructional design and implementation”, but there was a ” lack of cognitive psychology tools to support e-Learning”.
He said he was “Worried that Nigeria’s Low rural internet penetration, lack of preparedness. Lack of online educational curricula and un-affordability of necessary Learning Gadgets, as well as Low knowledge and skill sets, present a huge challenge, which may cause major setbacks for the educational system and students who at this time ought to be preparing for various examinations. Faced with the present situation, Nigeria’s educational system is lagging behind by not being functionally awake to the present reality of online education. Research shows that the level of online learning and preparedness in Nigeria is about only 10% or less. Hence the urgent need to salvage our already battered educational system that has been further humbled and bruised by the COVlD-19 pandemic”.
The House adopted the Motion and urged the Federal Ministry of education to urgently develop a National Policy and framework for online education for schools at various levels.