The COVID 19 pandemic as we all know has been wrecking havoc and claiming lives all over the world. The effect of this plague has been noticed to vary from place to place depending on the governments ability to curb the spread of the virus and regrow the economy after an outbreak. But for the purpose of this article we shall be looking solely at the effects of COVID19 on Nigerian students both home and abroad.
For us as Nigerian students, the emergence of this pandemic has crippled our already staggering education sector showcasing visibly the flaws that were left unattended. Before the COVID 19 pandemic, Nigeria as a country had one of the highest number of uneducated children in the world with numbers reaching around 10 million children. Of course that’s only officially, we all know it’s more than that. With the current attitude of governance, the low education budget funding and the economy sliding backwards into recession one can’t help but worry over the outcome in the nearest future.
Presently, due to the lockdown and various restrictions, all academic facilities in the country are closed. While a few schools in attempt to keep up with academic activities has taken to e-learning, the basic amenities for such are not provided and cannot be afforded by parents or students. E-learning programs which has been a sham in Nigeria cannot be expected to be miraculously transformed to cater for present demands. Even with the introduction of computer science to the educational curriculum, a large number of students are still not exposed to the computer environment. Also the audio learning programs setup by the government to reach out to students in graduating classes are underutilized. In general e-learning in Nigeria is majorly inefficient and ineffective.
As a result of the effect of the pandemic on the Nigerian economy and the consequential loss of jobs and define in income most students would not be able to afford basic education and hence an increase in the number of school dropouts. While placing hope on the government to come to their rescue, most students have taken to doing menial jobs and online income activities so as to be able to afford their education on the event of school reopening. It is also important to note that a few students have taken to crime so as to provide their daily needs many of which are bound to regret it in the end.
One can never be sure of how things would end up, one can only pray for a favourable ending. Students and other stakeholders in the education sector through our various associations are appealing to the government to intervene in the collapse of the sector and help cushion the effects of COVID19 on Nigerian students. Hopefully it will all end well.