EDUCATION BEYOND LOCKDOWN
I have always believed that school is not just a place but a process.
The advent of Coronavirus has obviously endorsed my belief.
School campuses are under lock down and yet teaching and learning must go on.
According to a UNESCO monitoring report, 99 percent of the world’s student population have been affected.
The burden of school authorities and governments across Africa have overnight shifted from providing infrastructure to access.
This is unprecedented! We certainly didn’t plan for such emergencies. Monies have already been invested in school building projects which cannot be refunded.
Finding alternative learning forms is the language everyone is speaking. While teaching and learning is going on undated in private schools with some parents paying for the services of teachers to teach their wards at home, students of poor homes are disadvantaged.
Despite the efforts of governments, parents, and schools there will be learning losses for almost everyone and worsened educational outcomes for the poor.
Sadly, students from rich and poor homes won’t be given different dates to write exams.
WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD THEN?
HOW DO WE COME UP WITH SUSTAINABLE WAYS OF DEALING WITH FUTURE COMPLEX SITUATIONS?
These are questions that must be answered!
In an attempt to answer the above questions, I have come up with the following suggestions:
First, we must consider simplifying school curriculums to target areas where learning loss will be most consequential for the following years ahead of the reopening of schools.
Secondly, Parents must continuously support their wards with schoolwork. During the lockdown period and when schools finally reopen to make up for lost time.
And finally, government must consider investing in software’s to promote online teaching and learning across board even when schools finally reopen.
Online learning has come to stay, we therefore need to catch up on technology. Telco’s can contribute to this by providing discounted prices for e learning.
We need to address this issue holistically beyond Politics.
YES WE CAN!