Without a shred of doubt, the Coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected all aspects of our lives. In Nigeria, the educational system has been devastated and children from poor families are bearing the brunt of it.
The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has no doubt adversely affected the global economy. It has forced many businesses to temporarily shut down and governments across the world to place a restriction on movement while exempting providers of essential services who are to strictly observe social distancing rules while providing services as a way to contain the spread of the virus.
To cushion the effects of the pandemic, the world is embracing technological innovations. Virtual interactions are increasingly adopted to replace face-to-face engagements and limit the total disruption to many sectors. UNESCO has recommended the use of distance learning programmes, open educational applications, and platforms by schools and teachers to reach learners remotely.
Obviously, COVD-19 is magnifying the educational inequity in Nigeria as only those with access to digital learning resources will keep learning in the comfort of their homes while those without access (the majority) are left behind.
This learning crisis is widening the social gaps instead of narrowing them. Students are now being disadvantaged by the pandemic. In the future, this gap will show up as weak skills in the workforce, thereby making it less likely for this category of young people to get well paid and satisfying jobs. When this happens, these young people will become nuisances in the society, championing courses that aren’t noble just to make ends meet. This reminds me of a saying by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo (a Nigerian nationalist and statesman) which goes thus:
“The children of the poor you failed to train will never let your children have peace”.
This is the time to bridge the gap of educational inequity by ensuring adequate funding of the educational sector.The effect of the pandemic is just one out of many implications of educational inequity, we don’t know what awaits us in the future, so it is highly important that we provide an equitable and inclusive learning environment for the students to ensure continuity in learning for all, irrespective of their socio-economic background.
We should not forget that education is the bedrock of every society as education is the solution to whatever problem we might have.
The future is in our hands to decide
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