by Toluwanimi Onakoya
Due to the current pandemic, school operations have been put on hold to curb the further spread of the Coronavirus disease. This activity-halt covers nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Some educational institutions had quickly adjusted to the situation by adopting an e-learning approach to carrying out the educating process and students are now being taught via video call platforms such as Zoom, Skype, etc. Assignments are sent in via mail and messaging apps. However, this trend has been most apparent with private institutions while public institutions have been put on a complete shutdown since the lockdown was announced.
This situation does not seem like it would change anytime soon as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), umbrella body of University teachers, has in a statement, stated that E-learning cannot work in Nigeria.
Some Nigerians wholeheartedly agreed with this statement, saying that our infrastructure does not allow us the benefit of internet-based learning. Many highlighted high data cost, the lack of stable electricity, and the low level of computer literacy training amongst both students and teachers.
This is true. Based on the current infrastructure, level of training and exposure of most academics, and current processes in our federal and state Universities, ASUU is 100% right. But we need solutions. How can we move forward? I can tell you for free. https://t.co/av0lMQwiED
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) June 16, 2020
Unless We want to Fool ourselves, ASUU is right this time and
E-learning can not work in Nigeria for now.
Think about Electricity first,
then compare the price of Internet data,
And I’ve not even compared the price of Computers.
How many people can afford all that? pic.twitter.com/1n8QcucCAj
— HOLYMAN ✝️ (@TheHolyman_) June 16, 2020
Some Nigerian students showed excitement at the fact that ASUU seemed to be extending their “holiday;” as they showed no eagerness to resume any semblance of organized educational activities.
Asuu dey always give me joy steady…Be like say dem dey follow enjoy the holidays 😂 pic.twitter.com/mSNqjROztS
— TWYCE🦅✌🏽 (@Twyce_X) June 16, 2020
On behalf of the unserious students of ABU, We love you ASUU 💙 😩 pic.twitter.com/0smwYahWEQ
— ABU™ Campus Connect (@ABU_Campus) June 16, 2020
Some even made jokes about the situation, talking about the antics of public school lecturers. They claimed that such antics would not be possible if an e-learning approach was adopted and so it is no surprise the schools in the public sector have shown no signs to embrace the technology.
Just imagine an Asuu online lecture without get out of my class and tear a sheet of paper pic.twitter.com/tazIqV3yMp
— Amebo unijos (@AUnijos) June 16, 2020
I agree with ASUU that E-Learning can't work in Nigeria. How will the lecturers tell female students online,'In this course you use what you have to get what you want'? How will they say:'This handout is not compulsory but Classrep,give me the names of those who have not bought'?
— DR.PENKING™ (@drpenking) June 16, 2020
ASUU warns lecturers not to engage in E-learning. That's a huge relief to students because I know one lecturer that would still send you out if you come to his online class late and still end the class with "Tear a sheet of paper"
Long Live ASUU 😩
— Chlorpheniramine 🇳🇬 (@VictorIsrael_) June 16, 2020
Still, many condemned the statement saying it was a shameful thing for ASUU to say especially in this internet age.
In summary, ASUU said e-learning will not work in Nigeria because special skills are required(true) and training for lecturers and re-orientation is a big problem.
This is happening in 2020 AD.
Ama what? Amazing!!!!
— Uncle Celestine (@cyberomin) June 16, 2020
E-learning can’t work in Nigeria, says ASUU.
What!? I am shocked? 😳
— Ayemojubar 🍿 (@ayemojubar) June 16, 2020
They pushed on, stating that a way forward should be provided and that public institutions should not be comfortable being mediocre. Some went as far as saying ASSU is against the progress of the Nigerian educational system.
ASUU has constantly reiterated their stance against the progress of the Nigerian Educational System. https://t.co/qceN285Bht
— ‘Äntēbëllụm🎈 (@iinioluwa_) June 16, 2020
As time progresses, and with no vaccine for the coronavirus in sight, it appears educational activities in the public universities would not be back to usual anytime soon.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks