Education, they say, is the best legacy and the most profitable of one’s achievement in life. Many, even, regard it as the bedrock of success.
We must have heard parents advising their children to get educated, in order to become rich, as if education is tied to wealth.
We want to believe that the populace is quite aware of the recent developments induced by the novel Coronavirus, in virtually all spheres of human life.
The education sector is not left out. The advent of the pandemic has compelled the closure of schools, in many places across the world, but like they say, ‘life goes on’.
In a bid to keep living, various means of keeping pupils engaged, despite being out of the classrooms are being adopted, especially, through online platforms.
It is not just offices that are going virtual. Many school teachers and students are, also, going virtual and as we know, this has gradually become the new normal, but not without its own challenges.
What, then, are the challenges of online learning, for basic education, you would ask?
Well, basic education, as we all know, refers to early childhood education, involving primary and lower secondary education, which of course, is compulsory for every child.
It is worthy to note that, technology has heralded a new phase, in the twenty-first century and without any doubt, has been a veritable tool and a medium to reach out, in this pandemic.
Online learning is one of the very many opportunities that technology has brought our way.
It has been around, for more than a decade and it is making waves in higher education, but the possibility of having the same impact on basic education, is gradually, becoming debatable.
Change of Learning Environment
Pupils in basic classes are more productive in their physical classroom and they tend to learn faster, with the presence of their teachers, as guides and instructors, with whom they can relate.
Now, having them stay glued to the screen, in a bid to learn, might not be very effective.
We would agree that some of these kids are just going to do it, for the fun of it and they will end up not gaining much, especially, if their parents are not there to monitor the process.
The change of physical learning environment to online platforms for this group of pupils is, therefore, a challenge.
Access to Tech Devices
That aside, let us face reality. How many of the pupils in the basic classes have access to the right devices for the online classes?
Except for the fortunate few, whose parents are able to provide the devices, not very many of these pupils are privileged to belong to this class.
There is, therefore, a doubt, as to how effective it could be, in the long run.
It is saddening that, at this time in the history of the world, quite a number of pupils do not have access to technological devices, to aid their learning.
How Tech-Savvy are they?
If you have a device you cannot operate, you can be likened to one, who does not have a device at all.
A device you cannot operate, despite the fact that you have it, is as good as useless.
Being tech-savvy is very important, in online learning and not very many of the pupils are computer literate.
Lack of computer literacy is a major challenge of online learning for basic education.
Stable Internet Connection
It is not enough to have the technology devices that give access to e-learning classes, but having a good and stable internet connection is very important.
With virtually everyone on the internet these days, one can hardly have a good internet connection, except at nights, when many must have retired for the day.
Lack of stable internet connection could, thus, pose challenges to online learning, for basic education and higher education as well.
There are lots of distractions that may interfere with the pupils learning process, as they now have to adjust to learning at home, away from their classrooms, which may not always be conducive.
If a child is now having to observe classes at home and lays in bed, because no one is there to monitor him, there is the possibility of drifting to sleep and the goal of the class for the day is lost!
Productivity and Accountability
The aforementioned brings us to consider how productive these pupils can be, while observing the online classes.
A child’s ability can be easily measured in a physical classroom, but assessing their productivity, via an online platform, may be cumbersome.
One is not even sure that the lessons are well received, retained and digested.
There is, also, no means of getting them to be accountable for how they use their time while undergoing online classes.
Considering some of these challenges, we would agree that, online learning for basic education is, engrossed with challenges that are ever willing, to choke the process without remedy and render it ineffective, if not properly planned and monitored.
Featured Image: guardian.ng
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