Friday, January 14, 2022

E-learning is any form of knowledge acquisition that utilizes electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. It mostly refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online. In an era of pandemic like this, the usefulness of e-learning should not be underestimated though the plight of the less privilege in Lagos State ought to also be our utmost priority.

At the advent of this pandemic, Lagos State Government provided alternative avenues to learn some school subjects in every level of basic and secondary school education as a result of the nationwide school shutdown.

Several basic and secondary school administrators also had to make use of social media handles and the internet to reduce the adverse effect of the pandemic without considering the fate of the less privilege who neither have access to the internet nor electricity power supply to watch and listen to radio and television program.

Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo on Sunday made a statement that thwarted the third term resumption of some private schools, who had prepared for online resumption.

In the commissioner’s statement, she said: “The State is presently on lockdown imposed by the Federal Government over the COVID-19 pandemic. Most schools are charging for this online service; often at a discount on existing tuition fees while some schools are charging full fees.

Parents are concerned about the cost of this programme, ranging from fees charged by schools to cost of data and devices as well as the cost of fueling generators to ensure steady electricity power supply.

Parents also have to supervise online teachings to guard against the exposure of children to pornography, in addition to online harassment and bullying.”

Similarly, The Head of National Office, West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, Nigeria, Mr Patrick Areghan, in a statement on Sunday, advised Nigerians to disregard the fake publication circulating on social media.

He said, “Our attention has been drawn to a fake publication circulating in the social media, to the effect that the West African Examinations Council had cancelled the conduct of the WASSCE for school candidates, 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and was therefore set to refund the sum of N22,500 to each candidate who had enrolled for the examination.

The publication is patently false and deceitful. It is nothing but the handiwork of mischief makers who are out to defraud innocent and unsuspecting candidates and their parents/guardians. This piece of news is certainly not from the West African Examinations Council. It falls short of the council’s style, language and factual details. They got it all wrong.

The examination was supposed to start in Nigeria on April 6, 2020 and not April 15, 2020, as stated by the authors. The examination fee is N13,950 only, not N22,500. It is therefore not reasonable to refund candidates an amount higher than what they had paid to register for the examination.”

Areghan added that the examination body had not announced the cancellation of the 2020 WASSCE but only announced a postponement until normalcy was restored.

The above statements make it glaring that resumption for basic and secondary education in Lagos will not be anytime soon. Hence, the need for e-learning.

In a discussion with a final year student of Accounting from Lagos State University, Ajayi Samuel, he recognized the importance of e-learning.

Samuel said “I have done some online courses abroad and I know what e-learning entails, it works wonderfully for me. I prefer cyber school to physical school. I had a friend who did cyber school in order to gain time for his sporting activities but could not cope and needed to return to physical school.

Some students need the structure and social aspect of a physical school, but in the future, I think both will be prevalent and hopefully people will understand cyber schooling as many of my friends don’t. I think there is still a bit of stigma against cyber schooling and I believe that will go away but both cyber and physical schools will still exist and there will be freedom to choose depending on the child.”

A Biology Teacher in a renowned private secondary school in Lagos, Mr Rotimi Ogunlana, said that, “The biggest advantage of e-learning which I myself felt was that it makes things easier to remember as you are able to visualize things better than just reading it through text books. It gives a practical aspect into reality and the current scenario. Also it is video graphic which makes it easier and clearer to learn and remember. Any average or below average kid also grasps things and concepts better.

E-learning is a good alternative to anyone who is finding it difficult to learn or remember certain topics or concepts and can be in any subject right from the basic language to rocket science.

Our photographic memory is much stronger and retains better than our memory. This phenomena, I am sure must be familiar with anyone who is a movie buff as one remembers the dialogues, songs, even the scenes (sometimes whole movies) like the back of his/her hand.

So learning becomes easier. Also, we tend to make a fool of our brain by e-learning as PC’s or smartphones/TV’s are also a source of entertainment which one does on a regular basis to relax, so the brain takes it as a leisure and e-learning refresh the mind.

Also no need to carry those bulky books when you have your mobile in your hand.”

By Ife Adewole

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