ASUU: ‘Don’t dream of E-Learning yet;’ Nigerians respond

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Still, many condemned the statement saying it was a shameful thing for ASUU to say especially in this internet age.

 

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.

 

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.

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