Our e-learning experiences, by undergraduates
Following the Federal Government’s directive to teachers and students to switch to virtual learning, students have cried out over the huge cost of learning online. Although the method is being threatened by so many challenges, some undergraduate students believe it is the best way to go.
For this group of university students, with improved infrastructure and funding, online learning will be a success and students will be adequately prepared for the global world.
These students have enjoined the government as well as the various institutions to continue with the virtual learning even after the lockdown.
With proper training for teachers and provision of the needed infrastructure, the undergraduate students said the nation’s ivory tower will be preparing world-class graduates for the world of work.
But some students believed that the system is not sustainable as it is too expensive for indigent students, considering the cost of data and electricity supply.
A student from the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) Chika David, said, “Studying from home has not been easy considering the many distractions. “As we all know how Nigerian parents act, when classes start, my mother can sent me on an errand and before I return to join the class, I would have missed certain things.
E-learning actually has a positive effect on students as you can control the speed, time and voice for one to understand what is being taught in real classes but you cannot ask your teacher to start again after he has gone a long way
However, looking at the other side of the e-learning, not all students have 100 per cent access to the internet or even own a phone, it would be unfair if the school furthers online learning and these students in poor homes are left out. Not all have direct access to the internet and Light too, so I believe for e-learning to be effective in Nigeria, government should intervene’’.
Another student from Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Owolabi Ibrahim described the initiative as a step in the right direction.
“It is an idea that will project Nigerian students at par with their colleagues in advanced countries, however, the Federal Government must be ready to put in place every necessary effort for its success.”
Considering indigent students and those without smartphones, another undergraduate, Esther Ayeni from University of Ibadan (UI) said ‘’Not all students own a smart phone or a computer system, some will even sell their phones to pay school fees. The e-learning might not be favourable to them. Lack of computer poor knowledge of the applications is another big issue.
“Many cannot operate basic programmes such as Microsoft. Word and PowerPoint and therefore may not able to handle their files which is necessary as it enables students to manage their assignments and courses.
‘’Undergraduates with smart phones may not have a strong internet connection to access the e-learning and are most likely to miss out for now, I think the e-learning would be more effective in private institutions than the public institutions. Government and school authorities should reason together on how best to make it work… But is the government ready to invest in the sector?
Buttressing Esther’s claim, Kolawole Funmilayo a student from Adeyemi College of Education, said ‘’Government should make proper provision and invest more funds to educational sector to facilitate e-learning, since it is working in private universities, it should also work in government institutions.
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