Teacher education experts have called for a review of the education curriculum to integrate online learning, as well as some regulatory policies to prevent abuse or over use of online resources.
They agreed that teachers will always be relevant in spite of the innovation in the education sector, but they require continuous training and retraining and should be provided with electronic devices to enable them adapt to the current reality in the sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stakeholders also stressed the need to sensitise parents on their new roles of constantly monitoring their children while they learn online and to ensure that they are taking down notes and doing their assignments.
These were some of the recommendations by experts at an online discourse with the theme ‘Teaching and Teacher Education in the Post-COVID Era’, hosted by EduCeleb.
The experts included a Professor of Science Education at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Francisca Aladejana; the Registrar, Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof. Segun Ajiboye; a representative of the Natio! Teachers’ Institute, Prof. Ahmed Iliyasu, among others.
The experts stated that no one envisaged a pandemic of this magnitude, adding that COVID-19 revealed that the country was not prepared for full-scale online learning, as only private universities institutions are engaging their students electronically, while public universities are not, though some state governments have introduced radio and TV classes. Also more than half of the population don’t have access to the internet.
According to them, since teaching and learning in the post-COVID-19 era will be technology-dependent, teachers ought need to possess cognitive knowledge of their discipline; they need to be trained in the use of modern technology; and experts within and outside the country should be engaged to countinouly train and retrain teachers because the kind of education teacher got did not prepare them for the current situation.
Also, they urged colleges of education and faculties of education to rethink teacher education and incorporate technology in all processes; for instance, they noted that supervisors don’t need to be present during teaching practice, but the students could record their activities and send the videos to them.
According to them, education in the post-COVID-19 era will have to be a collaborative effort among schools, learners, the community and parents, adding that teachers and students would require psychological boosting and students need to be reassured that there is life beyond the pandemic and they can still pursue their dreams and work hard to achieve them.
They added that parents have to make extra sacrifice to provide facilities to enable their children adapt to the new normal of technology-driven education, like electronic devices, power supply, internet, among others.
When schools eventually reopen, teachers still have to observe safety measures; determine the students’ level of preparedness; conduct revisions for them to recall what they were taught before the closure of schools; and test to ascertain their readiness for the task ahead.