Will education move online after coronavirus?

April 14, 2021 982 views 4 comments 3 minutes reading time
Will education move online after coronavirus?

2020 was a tough year for most African governments. Economies did not perform well, business was at a standstill and education was hit hard. Governments were forced to suspend in-person schooling as a measure of containing the COVID-19 virus. Months after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Africa, many governments are still grappling with the shift of education from classrooms to digital platforms.

While institutions of higher learning and secondary schools have embraced digital platforms with ease, many challenges remain. The majority of Africa lacks adequate infrastructure to sustain online education. Equipping students with computers or tablets and licensing appropriate software can also be an expensive undertaking.

Sarah Anyang Agbor, Commissioner of Human Resources, Sciences, African Technology of the Africa Union Commission, gave us her thoughts on the future of education.

We ask Paula Ingabire, the Minster for ICT and Innovation in Rwanda, about the future of education post COVID-19.

For another perspective we interviewed Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations. How would she respond?

The digital divide exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic has raised queries over the level of preparedness of learning institutions in the era of pandemics. While the future is uncertain, the alternatives to face-to-face learning should be made available for all. Bridging the digital divide should be a key priority if e-learning is to be used to facilitate education across the continent.

Paula Ingabire projects what the future will look like for education and technology.

We also ask Sarah Anyang Agbor about the future of education in the continent and the strides that Africa needs to make to ensure that her children access education without marginalisation. This was her response.

While some countries such as Kenya scraped the entire 2020 school year, other countries have opted for the reorganization of the school terms. Even as stakeholders advocate for the strengthening of EdTech, many governments are grappling with the issue of increased dropout rates. Statistics from a report by Save the Children indicate that at least 10mn children worldwide may never return to school.

Will education move online after the COVID-19 pandemic? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts!

Image by World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr

Comments

AN
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MD
My comments are: 1. The online education is the priority now for every country in Africa, no doubt on this but if Policy Makers do not put robust policies safeguarding the poor families, we are going to see a segregated education system, where the rich manage the online education while the poor drop out of school. 2. The issue of Human Resource is paramount and would want to know what measures are in place to equip teachers with ICT knowledge. 3.There is no enough and modern infrastructure in schools that resonate well with the new trend, how are we going to cope and when?

AN
Hopefully not! Children need to socialise in schools. Also, not everyone has access to reliable internet connections or a computer, especially in households with more than one child.

OA
Education will not move online because of coronavirus. Coronavirus has rather move the interest in classroom to comfortable homes. This observation is exceptional in countries where people struggle to get internet. Before coronavirus virus, people sat at their comfort zone to acquire enormous knowledge and skills. Online courses were getting millions of subscriptions all the time. Now, the coronavirus came as a vindication to the fact that people enjoy studying in their homes more than in classrooms. It isn't only education that has moved online, also the interest and zeal use to configure studies and work at the same time.