Effective Online Teaching for Basic Education is Possible, Says UNICEF

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By Kuni Tyessi

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that online classes in Nigeria’s educational sector is capable of delivering utmost success as a style of learning for basic education.

A statement signed by the Communications Specialist of the UNICEF, Dr. Geoffrey Njoku, said that the UNICEF Nigeria would provide technical support to enhance the effectiveness of home based learning programmes, especially in the wake of the total lock down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic disease and ensure that edu-volunteers are part of the monitoring effort supporting state officials and parents.

The statement added that the efforts would help state governments in tracking down the number of children that were participating in the online learning via the platform and feedback received from callers on radio, television and the websites during monitoring sessions.

Using Ekiti State as example, the statement said a field research that was supervised by the UNICEF’s Awwal Nasir in Ido community of the state, showed that the Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the Ministries of Education, Science and Technology were using digital teaching and learning programmes to provide uninterrupted learning for pupils while the lock down continues.

The statement, however, acknowledged that inasmuch as the programmes have run smoothly in some areas, some areas are faced with challenges such as poor internet connectivity, teaching and learning resource limitations, level of parents literacy, poor electricity supply, distractions and high levels of poverty.

“Lessons covering primary one to six are aired in radio and television stations while some are uploaded on dedicated websites. Assignments are often given during classes and learners are expected to complete and submit them online.

“These efforts help states to track the number of children via the platforms. Feedback is received from callers on radio, television and the websites during monitoring sessions, assignments submitted are used as a performance indicator to measure the impacts of programmes.

“Overall, reports show that many parents and guardians subscribe to the programme, and also making efforts to ensure their wards have the support needed to participate. Must agree the platform have been useful and have helped reduce the negative impact if the stay-at-home order by allowing children to continue to learn even in difficult times,” it added.