Uncertainty Of Reopening Schools And Challenges Ahead – Must Read

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The nationwide school closures have actually disrupted learning, and access to vitals school provided services for a record number of students in Nigeria.

On March 19, 2020, a circular from the Federal Ministry of Education ordered the closure of all schools in the country for one month commencing from Monday, March 23, 2020, to prevents the spread of the coronavirus.

According to UNESCO, almost 40 millions of  learners have been affected by the nationwide school closures in Nigeria, of which over 91% are primary and secondary school learners.

In a short times, COVID-19 has disrupted the landscape of learning in Nigeria by limiting how students can access learning across the country/nations.

For an already fragile education systems, the COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges on the government, students, and parents, and could amplify some of the cracks in the system.

As the nation begins to grapple with these challenges, a key question arises: Is the Nigerian education system designed to adapt rapidly to the changing world?

Given the state of affairs in the world today, the nation’s ability to ensure the continuation of learning will depend mainly on their ability to swiftly harness available technology, provide adequate infrastructure, and mobilize stakeholders to prepare alternative learning programs.

To cushions of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world is embracing technologicals innovation. Virtual interactions are highly adopted to replace face-to-face engagements and limit the total disruption in many sectors.

The use of distance learning programmes, open educational applications, and platforms by schools and teachers to reach learners remotely like zoom class, google class, these could include other integrated digital learning platforms like video lessons, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and broadcast through radio and television.

The success of these recommendations in Nigeria hinges on the use of high technology or low technology solutions, which are based on the reliability of local power supply, internet connectivity, and digital skills of teachers, students, parents, and caretakers.

Now is the time to bridge the gaps of educational inequity by ensuring adequate funding of the education sector. The effect of the pandemic is just one out of many implications of educational inequity; we don’t know what awaits us in the future.

So we must provide an equitable and inclusive learning environments for the students to ensure continuity in learning for all, irrespective of their socio-economic background. One of the palliative measures that can be adopted includes a public and private partnerships with non-profits and other governments agencies who are working to salvage the situations ongroung.

Such efforts can be supported through the provisions of funds at this critical times. Let us not forget that education is the bedrock of every society as education is the solution to whatever problems we might be facing in our various life.

Let us not forget that whatever the problem is, education remains the solution/key. The future of our children is in our hands to decide. Let us join hands together to make Nigeria a better place through quality and inclusive education.

Yusuf Sani Maitama,

Bayero University,

Kano

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