‘How students should utilise the lockdown’
Few weeks ago, the Federal Ministry of Education closed down schools nationwide due to the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria. This action was taken as a measure to curtail the spread of the pandemic.
It is also worthy of note that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) decided to commence an indefinite strike at this time, which totally collapsed the educational structure in the meantime.
There has been optimism on the part of the students as regards the feasibility of their resumption. This hope was however dashed when two weeks was added to the compulsory lockdown of the major states affected by the COVID-19 scourge.
Findings showed that majority of the students find it difficult to utilise their time at home and in the name of boredom, engage in different unimportant activities.
Some undergraduates see this period as a good time to rest from all the stress they have been through in their various institutions, others play games and spend more time on social media while another set of students spend time surfing the internet.
During this period of idleness, some bad acts such as robbery, kidnapping and cybercrime could become a norm if proper preventive measures are not taken to curb it.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) news, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) discovered that cyber criminals are already utilising the period of this COVID-19 pandemic to carry out fraudulent activities.
This brings our attention to the saddening perspectives of most students, which is that education begins and end within the four walls of their institutions.
They have come to neglect self-development and depend wholly on whatever they get from their lecturers. Another sad aspect is the fact that students do not read to understand but for the main purpose of passing examinations.
However, life would be a better place for us all if students who are the leaders of tomorrow learn to get things right at this stage of their lives. For Morenikeji Aloba, a 300-level student of Lagos State University (LASU), undergraduates should make use of this period to learn new things.
Aloba suggested the need for her colleagues to be diverse. “They should acquire knowledge about things outside their fields of study and by so doing; it will benefit them and also the society at large.
“One of the ways of achieving this is by taking online courses. This will not only increase their morale but also help them to get better jobs and earn more and possibly serve as an added advantage to them in the nearest future.
For Kola Odumosu of Ogun State polytechnic, Ilaro, students can get busy by learning entrepreneurial skills. “Entrepreneur skill is another advantage to an individual’s knowledge. There are lots of entrepreneurial skills they can learn or improved online via YouTube such as: fashion designing, hairdressing, and beads making. This will make them independent and more resourceful.
Also, there is the option of learning or developing some life skills such as: graphics designing, communication skill (this includes writing and public speaking), and further training.”
Similoluwa Opeyemi of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), said undergraduates could use this opportunity to discover themselves and what they actually stand for.
“Students should not use this period as an excuse to become mediocre. There is need for them to understand that this pandemic will go with time and they will be left with how much value they have added to themselves by how well they have utilised the break.
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