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Schools lockdown: Online classes not working, parents say

After President Mohammadu Buhari announced earlier this week that he was easing the lockdown measures in place in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, effective 4th of May, many Nigerians were keen to know how this new development would affect schools.

That’s exactly what the Wednesday 29th April edition of The Daily Report radio programme focused on. “”I did say yesterday that we will be talking about schools that have been shut since March,” host Ify Onyegbule said in her opening statement. “Whether we like it or not the school curriculum has actually been affected.”

After her opening remarks she asked listeners, parents and teachers to cal into programme to share their thoughts on the subject.  “Let us know how you’ve been fairing since the children have been staying at home,” she said.

Callers and listeners also touched on the issue of the online classes that government announced shortly after the Stay-At-Home order was issued.

“If I know when the children will resume, I will then know whether they will repeat the current class or they woill be promoted to the next class,” Cihi-Chi calling form Command- Ikeja said. “For the online access and television classes, there is no light. The money that we should use to feed the children, we will use it to buy fuel; if the government can give us some money, then no problem.”

David from Ijaiye had a different opinion. “The resumption date should not even be the question for now. As a parent, I won’t allow my children to resume until the whole crisis is resolved. As things stand, the entire school calendar has changed.”’

In a press statement issued by the Lagos State government on Wednesday, Governor Sanwo –Olu  said that “All schools and institutions at primary, secondary and tertiary levels remain physically closed. Students are expected to continue learning on the alternative online and media channels announced by the various institutions of learning.”

A stakeholder in the educational sector, David said he feels sorry for teachers in private schools, some of which are trying hard to carry out the online classes and pay staff a percentage of their salaries. “Some small private schools pay teachers a paltry N15, 000. My advice is for them to look for something else to do pending when the schools resume,” he concluded.

“The online class can’t work,” Seun Salami tweeted, encouraging parents to take care of their children as best as they can. “Palliatives did not work, so how will the online studies work? If you wait for the government, you are on your own.”

Kingsley from Ikorodu says most private schools cannot afford the hardware required for online learning, adding that parents should consider alternatives to keep their children engaged with offline learning.

 “The online learning is not working,” said Ade from Ogba. “Exams can’t be based on that, because all schools can’t do it equally. I am not interested. My children will study at home. They can revise what they were taught last terms. We should not be concerned about resumption but about how to how to take care of the virus. No reasonable parent will let their children resume under the present conditions.”

Olutayo from Abeokuta said now would have been a good time to really look at the Opon-Imo tablets launched by the Osun State government some years back.

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