With the current disruption in the education industry in Nigeria and across the world, education and learning can no longer be handled the way it was before as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic demonstrates that more focus and efforts need to be invested in digitizing education in Nigeria across schools so students can compete, adjust, and adapt very rapidly in an ever-changing and highly digital environment.
While teaching may take place in or out of the classroom, E-learning is a system that uses electronic tools such as computers, mobile phones, and the internet to enhance formalized teaching. The transformation that e-learning has on education cannot be underestimated, as it holds the highly needed key to bridging the divide and weaknesses that conventional learning has, and it will help make education accessible to all students, regardless of their background.
For students in Nigerian primary and secondary schools, when the pandemic hit, schools had to be closed abruptly with most schools having no preparation for how students could continue to learn effectively from home, whilst some private schools could navigate the sudden event of school closure leveraging on their ability provide online learning facilities for their students, most schools couldnât respond quickly enough to meet up with the new norm, leaving most students to themselves for most of the period when schools were shut. This shouldnât have been the norm as E-learning would have been the most effective tool to bridge the gap during this time and it would have ensured that students continued to learn from home.
Highly important benefits of e-learning for students include its ability to accommodate every studentâs learning needs, it allows lessons to be taken any number of times especially for students who donât learn easily in a crowded class, e-learning offers fast and efficient access to updated content as teachers can easily update their learning content to adapt to any change needed in the learning curriculum being used in real time, e-learning also offers the opportunity for scalability and consistency when it comes to delivering learning content, e-learning also helps to reduce cost when it comes to learning as it eliminates the use of paper and aids the mental development of students significantly.
E-Learning also has additional benefits over the traditional way of teaching in that it helps learners develop communication skills as well as personal skills such as autonomy, analytical perception, abstraction and more. Studies have also shown that a person acquires only 15-20% of information through the auditory sense and 60-80% through the visual sense which gives credence to the importance of E-learning since it aids learning through the auditory and visual sense as well.
The presence of e-learning facilities across schools in Nigeria is disturbingly low for a country with a burgeoning youth population. One of the keys to seeing an increase in the use of e-learning facilities is for the adoption of the use of these tools to be made compulsory as well as the government making the e-learning facilities available at subsidized rates for schools. Also, the internet which is the key to the effective use of e-learning facilities should be made cheap to encourage educational institutions to embrace the use of e-learning tools to help students learn and prepare them ahead for the future of learning. Awareness campaigns about the importance of ensuring kids are exposed to the use of e-learning should also be made across various local media to reach parents and guardians.
For obvious reasons, e-learning needs to be adopted more than ever before to help the Nigerian educational sector grow and compete in the disruptive world we live in today. The education industry will continue to be disrupted in the near future, and traditional offline learning will no longer be the main way students learn with e-learning providing ways to help students learn more efficiently.