THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION POST-COVID
WRITTEN BY DANIEL AJAYI
The past had seen the educational sector in a sorry state, though a glimpse of light was already setting our path. There was steady improvement in the system. We have seen private schools cease to breathe due to bankruptcy. We have also seen teachers embarking on strike as they disagree with an unsupportive government failing in its duties of welfarism of the staff.
We have seen in the past a child can’t afford to be in a private school because his/her parent could not live to the means of affording the funds. We have come across students missing classes, teachers avoiding to teach and the school environments that has nothing to write home about. These were challenges detrimental to the future of education; to the future of our leaders. The educational sector still in operation despite those critical challenges and damages suffered.
There were times kids changed from private to a government school, a time when teachers sacrificed and taught through the terms despite salaries unpaid, a time when students were counselled to take education serious and it just worked out well. However, nobody knew we could stay at home, not because of strike or parents could not afford the fees or a collapse in the structure but because the holiday came sooner than expected. It was COVID-19 that has taken shelter from us but can’t take us from what we signed up for.
The virus known for its pandemic trait has become a matter with an urgent need in all sectors of the economy, particularly the educational sector where future generations are raised and our only hope of a civilized world. This prevalent disease has become persistent and widely discussed on the media and it is no news to both the young and old. The jeopardy this global enemy has caused the advanced countries and developing nations like ours, has reached a frightened height.
This has put lives on standstill but the question lingers from within, “the impact of COVID-19, what does it write on our future education?” In light of this, the educational sector is becoming disturbed after schools have shut down due to its precarious effects. Situations like this have made us invent ways of adapting to change.
According to UNICEF reports, about 10.5 million of the country’s children, aged 5-14 years are not in school and 61 per cent of 6 – 11 years are accounted to regularly attend a primary school. The reality is that there is high probability of school dropouts and neglect of education as many staying at home might lose interest for education and move on to learning trade. Also, parents inability to continually sponsor their children’s education as they saddle young ones with hawking wares, cleaning the house and doing menial jobs due to the lost means of livelihood during the pandemic.
As a stern believer of education, it is worthy of note to counter the challenges above and proffer solutions to avoid future occurrences. The question is, “how can we make sure education survives aftermath?” Orientation is needed to ensure there is a robust information regarding education and its impact on the future. One of these approaches is letting the masses know the benefits of being educated in a jet world and the costly damages of ignorance.
Several means are available (i.e., television, radio, social media, newspaper, awareness campaigns etc.) to help disseminate information in languages understood by the locals. This is a call of duty to all parastatals involved in the sector to be at their best in safeguarding the future of education in our dear nation. Teachers should inform parents as this might go a long way in educating the uneducated.
The fact that students will have to be self taught without the guidance of the teachers and mentors could in the future challenge the roles of teachers in producing individuals that would bring impact to the society rather than just individual brilliance and survival instincts. This is a welcome development as instant gratification could be curbed in this society fueled by social media and peer pressure.
Furthermore, the internet as a resourceful tool for learning which is being adapted will be in a stage where learning can be truly encouraged but due consideration should be noted in a country like ours where factors like poor internet connection, the social status of the family and their point of view towards education can affect e-learning.
Other factors such as complacency by students, loss of proximity in verbal communication and illegal views if not properly monitored by parents. All these limits the effectiveness as to how education can be promoted but the fact that these downsides occur does not mean these factors can not be eradicated with proper monitoring and follow up.
On the other side of the wall, we as the teachers and syllabus planners are not spared as pressure are placed on us. We are expected to take up extra- curricula activities in other to cover up for loss time and areas in which the students can be lagging. As a result, teachers are tasked with an obligation to relate, maintain and bond with students as regard learning experience.
In addition, overall low academic performance can be an issue that should be look into as this could be a result of disrupted academic activities, weakness of enthusiasm and learning disabilities some students developed during the staying at home.
Nevertheless, this ugly situation could be averted by the application of solutions. Education should be regarded and view as a priority. Investment in educational tools is a thoughtful approach to providing a serene environment for learning. In the same vein, educators should be trained on the implementation of educational skills.
Unemployment is also a factor to be considered in the future, as a lot of parents are going through a struggle during this period. This could swing negatively in the future of their children’s education especially, when parents are not financially equipped to pay tuition fees. Government at all levels, non governmental organizations and individuals should be encouraged to sum up ideas on financial sustainability for everyone.
It is been said that the future of a nation is dependent on the education of the younger generations and all hands must be on deck to ensure sustainable development.
Slat,Unicef Nigeria, Education, https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/education.
Written by Daniel Ajayi
Daniel Ajayi’s Bio
Daniel Ajayi is a Nigerian poet and Writer. Daniel probes truth, nature and humanity and is currently with a team where he reviews for The Blue Nib. He writes from his courtyard in Lagos. He can be contacted via email – [email protected].
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