With the increase in the number of Corona virus cases and coupled with the fact that the global pandemic health challenge has changed the way things are done,bringing about a new normal. Education experts have advised governments at all levels to do more for education,especially provision of data,broad band access,good internet network& technology,adding that if these are not provided, it could hamper the transition to digital space and online lectures, post COVID19.
These submissions were the fallout of the 8th Virtual public lecture of Lagos State University ( LASU) with the title”LEARNING ISSUES IN EDUCATION & COVID19 PANDEMIC” held on Tuesday,30th June,2020.
Prof. Rafiu Okuneye talked on” POST COVID19 LECTURES& STRUCTURES”.
He recalled that before the pandemic,academic structure were physical,students coming to the campus,daily and receiving lectures. Attending, both academic and social activities,some going to the library to read as well as do other things etc.
But,with the global health crisis,all that have changed,disrupting the old normal and throwing a new normal.
The Director,Quality Assurance,LASU,proposed three models to be activated post COVID19,when the school resumes.
” The first is faculty based,which allows for a particular Department to attend lectures on a particular day of the week. The second is level based. It is operated on levels. Each level assigned the day of the week to attend lectures. The third is based on online classes for all strata of programmes”,he posited. He added that all the models have their advantages and disadvantages.
Finally,for the models to work,the former Chairman,LASU International School Board advised the University to put in place robust logistics,a committee to steer it, Information on reopening of the school must be detailed,banners on Covid19 protocols placed at strategic locations on all the campuses,lectures timetable should be technically done in sync with the models adopted and members of staff must be observant as well as put in extra efforts to monitor the students as they return to the school.
Contributing to the topic through hi
s paper” COVID19 PANDEMIC: EMERGING CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS FOR TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS”
,Prof. Biodun Akinpelu noted that the future of education was no longer face to face or physical learning,but,it has moved to online learning. Furthermore,he stated that the Pandemic has affected the work place,contract appointments terminated,international conferences put off,research work hampered,revenue of universities reduced and many other issues thrown up.
” COVID19 has reduced the pattern of human interaction. There is no access or limited access to online lectures by students. Quality assurance can not adequately monitor the process. The one size fits all platform is not adequate. There is inalienable demand for digital space. Adaptation is key in migration to the online platform. The Centre for General Nigeria Studies( CGNS) is planning to go online”,he lamented.
The Director,CGNS admonished that other platforms of learning should be explored because of issues of data,network and access to broad band. He added that LASU Radio,online television and other electronic platforms and technology based gadgets could be looked into.
On resumption and reopening of the university,prof. Akinpelu urged the University Management not to do that hurriedly,but,should be done gradually.
For education not to suffer from Covid19,he called on the government to include the education sector in its financial stimulus package.
” We had plans for convocation,plans already in place before the pandemic broke out,money already spent,but,the convocation on hold,now. Online learning should not be omnibus ,where everyone joins,we must be cautious. Electricity is important for online activities. Data is key,telecom operators must bring the price of data,down. With all these,we will stay afloat and make impact”,Prof. Akinpelu rounded up with a lot of optimism.
Next to speak was Dr S. O Dosumu,with focus on “NEW PERSPECTIVES IN EDUCATION ARISING FROM COVID19 PANDEMIC”.
He noted that the pandemic had brought about a disorder,which has changed the pattern of interaction,saying life would never be the same again,as the education sector has been adversely affected.
Speaking further,he opined that schools were shut,seminars put off and transition to online lectures,a new normal. He added that many institutions were caught unprepared and unawares. He averred that radio and television monopoly became the order of the day.
” Thrust of my focus is what will be the future of education when the dust of COVID19 settles. The Federal Government has a role to play by providing free data for all. The burden of data should be taken off the scholars and their families. Free data to all students and all institutions of learning. Provision of electricity and curriculum review. Also,provision of interactive tools for students”,he listed.
To ensure that the transition to the new normal works seamlessly, Dr Dosumu called for strategic planning,capacity building,training and re- training of staff. He advised lecturers to go extra mile,even organise remedial classes post COVID19.
Also,on ground rules for safety when school reopens,all the protocols must be strictly adhered to,washing of hands,wearing of face mask,social distancing, use of hand sanitizers and handling of stigmatization.
He ended by saying” The library must be well ventilated. There should be full use of technolgy. There should be capacity building for Management and teaching staff. Assessment is key. Improvement of hygiene and sanitary practice are important. Post COVID19 era will be a revolution for a new world”,Dr Dosunmu ended his presentation.
The last speaker ,Dr. M.O.B Mohammed took a look at “MANAGING AN ONLINE CLASS”.
He opened up by saying that the education sector has been badly hit with the Covid19 pandemic. He said the new way of doing things now,including learning is Zoom software application,but,it is data consuming,for both host and the students.
To conduct lectures for students, online, successfully,Dr. Mohammed handed these strategies to resource persons” tell the students the objectives. Go straight to the point.
Visualise,use charts,pictures,no cock and bull stories. Flexibility is key,do not be rigid in teaching. The class should be interactive”.
Also,he asked the resource persons to give the students assignments,adding that online teaching has become a new normal,now and after post COVID19.
Finally,he averred that large classes should be taken online ,while smaller classes should be face to face. He insisted ‘ Data is Life’. He wrapped up by saying LASU should embrace educational software for teaching.
The public lecture was moderated by the Dean,Faculty of Education,Prof. Ambrose Akinkuotu and the Vice Chancellor,Professor ‘Lanre Fagbohun,SAN,NPOM was the Chief Host.