All schools have been affected as a result of the Corona Virus Pandemic outbreak. Following a statewide lockdown in Lagos State, schools were shut down indefinitely from the 26th of March 2020. As at this time, the resumption date for schools in Nigeria has not been announced.
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According to the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, “The attention of the Lagos State Ministry of Education has been drawn to the plans by some private schools in the state to resume academic activities for the third term of the 2019/20 session by online teaching.
“The Ministry wishes to state categorically that all schools in Lagos State remain closed and have not yet been opened for the third term. In addition, plans are also underway to ensure that children in public schools, are able to complete their term whenever the lockdown is lifted.”
She also appealed to the proprietors to persevere and adopt the online teaching strategy to keep their students busy while staying at home to avoid contracting COVID-19.
The Latest News on School Resumption In Nigeria
During the latest Presidential task force press briefing on Covid-19, the Nigeria Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba mentioned that the ministry will release guidelines on what they expect adapting with Covid-19 will look like. He also mentioned that Junior secondary and senior secondary school students may resume just to finish their exams.
There will be a limit to the number of children per class. What this may mean is that classes may hold in the morning and afternoon; to accommodate social distancing.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo shared that “There will be protocols to address schools that will have large gatherings. A lot of things are still being put into consideration. However, the protocol on guidelines to reopen schools will be shared this week.
The Different Online Learning Strategies for Nigerian Students
In several countries around the world, online learning has been adopted, to ensure that children continue to learn. However, in Lagos State, online learning is not a substitute for the academic third term. It is only supposed to be a strategy to keep students busy while they are at home.
Different schools have chosen to adopt different online learning strategies. While some schools are adhering to the instructions of the Lagos State Commissioner of Education; others have decided to commence their third term online and this has presented a lot of challenges for parents.
LagosMums put up an opinion poll on Twitter asking if schools offered any discount on fees this term for online learning. See the feedback below, majority of schools did not offer any form of discount.
Some parents are not earning during this lockdown. In addition to that, others don’t have the required gadgets and infrastructure like laptops, good or affordable internet connection and constant power supply, to enable their wards to learn effectively online. All these are added expenses that have to be incurred by parents in addition to the school fees. Parents also have to supervise online teachings to protect children from online harassment, pornography or bullying and the occasional distraction.
In the case of Chrisland Schools, they asked students to resume on April 27. The school advised that only those who pay fees would be allowed to attend online classes. They offered parents the option of paying the school fees in two instalments of 50% each; with a discount on the first instalment. However, parents still feel that the management acted insensitively
1. Schools and Parents need to have a meeting and agree on the best course of action; that will be beneficial to both parties. Moreover, considering the challenges some parents face, the online learning option (which is not a substitute for the third term) should be optional for parents who can afford it.
2. Parents should find what works for them
We saw a story recently on social media about a mum who lives in a place in America that does not have wi-fi access. She drives her children to a park close to her house where there is free wi-fi. Then they stay there for a while to learn and download learning materials without leaving the car,.
Think about how you can make the situation work for you and your kids. It can be that they will use your phone or laptop at a particular time everyday.
3. Children can learn offline too
According to the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, the state continues to offer free teachings on various media, especially radio and television. There are free learning resources online for children. Note that excessive screen time has its disadvantages. Here are a few learning activities to engage in offline.
Education is not only through academics. Now that we have our children at home, let us spend time teaching our children real-life skills that matter. Watch this amazing conversation between a father and son on finance and entrepreneurship! At such a young age, this boy is ready for financial life with this knowledge.
What non-academic lessons have you been teaching your kids? Though cases of people infected with Coronavirus are still on the rise daily, President Mohammed Buhari has announced the approval of a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May 2020 at 9am.
The FG shut down schools in Lagos and Ogun states and we have the largest number of cases. Currently, we do not know when schools will reopen as there has not been any announcement to this effect.
In the meantime stay safe and stay tuned.