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COVID-19: The need for Educational Technology Facilities Via Distance learning in Nigeria Schools - Dauda Fatai

Coronavirus is an umbrella of viruses that cause disease in animals. Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause cold-like symptoms. Therefore, posing health, economic, regional, multinational and international challenges to the World at large. It should be noted that, the disease emanated from China a country in Asia.

As at November 2019, China's population was estimated to 1.4 billion, the largest of any country's in the world. Interestingly, her technology Innovations, science and human resources placed her, China, among world powerful countries in the World.

In addendum to the above, the disease is now widely spreading from Asia, Europe, South America, North America, Australia, Africa and Antarctica with yet or no case(s) recorded.

Nigeria, a west Africa country, doubled as the most populous country in Africa, is not left untapped from the outbreak of the virus.

 However, according to UNESCO, education is an organized and sustained instruction designed to communicate or transmit knowledge, skills and understanding valuable for life. Education has been used to describe programme of activities scheduled to improve the functionality of the individual within the society.

Technologically, the practical applications of knowledge especially in a particular area, such as, engineering, medical and education is through learning.

Educational technology, therefore, is the application of knowledge, equipment, tools, methods and materials into the educational purposes and segments in order to ease the ways of giving out instructions, that is, the teaching and learning process. Considering the innovative ideas and application of new technologies into the educational system across the world, which is being practical particularly from the developed countries of the world. A system which avails the learners and instructors the opportunity for academic interaction without little or no physical contact, hence all is done asynchronously.

Meanwhile, distance education or distance learning, is a field of education that focuses on the pedagogy, technology, and instructional systems design that is effectively incorporated in delivering education to students who may not be physically available to learn. Instead, teachers and students may communicate asynchronously (at times of their own choosing) by exchanging printed or electronic media, or through technology that allows them to communicate in real time (synchronously).

Distance education or long-distance learning, is the education for learners who may not always be physically present at a school (traditional/conventional classes). This usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post.

Today, it involves online education. Courses that are conducted (51 percent or more) are either hybrid, blended or 100% distance learning. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education.

A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual classroom etc.) are used roughly synonymously with distance education.

In view of the above conceptual analysis, one will agree that, distance learning is asynchronously in nature not need of physical or body contact of any kind, its flexibility, convenient, casual and effectiveness is advantageous.

As a result of the pandemic disease of coronavirus, many affected countries had took cautions and  precautions from the easy spread of the deadly disease (COVID-19) through many precautionary measures-travel ban to other affected countries, shut down of public places, social distancing and schools were't left untouched.

Consequently, Nigeria wasn't left behind as to relation of taking precautions ditto placed entry restrictions on travelers from affected countries, government at levels shut down schools, basic and tertiary, religion gatherings and some public convergence, to avoid massive body contact, all till further notice.

However, that popular assertion still remains that, "education is power" can we now argue against that assertion because of Coronavirus? Also, "Health is Weath" definitely, yes! It's wealth. Nonetheless, we can digitalize our education system through educational technology via distance learning to suit the global risks of coronavirus pandemic battling the global space cum future hazard.

Nigeria as a country, should avail the opportunity of technology in her education system most importantly in this embattling period of COVID-19. If schools are shut down, we should however look beyond on how to resolve the menace of keeping our children out of schools and incorporate technology based instructions into our system for us to keep them updated on their studies.

Effective learning does not have to be confined to the walls of classrooms, we can engage students at homing using Edves via; video conference, CBT, online assignment, video sharing electronic note and results management.

By now, it's worth of commendation, on the part of the government for been proactive on her citizenry health, also for taken a bold step of precautions from the initial stage of the emerging of the Coronavirus outbreak.

In extension, beyond incorporating of technology into education system as to full engagement of distance learning, which would ensures little or no human-body contacts.

On the other hands, Nigeria citizens should adhere strictly to the established precautions measures, hence the need is essential. Parents should  take cognizance of their wards, remain indoor and encourage them to maintain personal hygiene frequently, washing of the hands, scrubbing for 20 seconds with soap and water and the used of hand sensitizers.

Parents should exemplify such practice too.

By fit and start, education remains the pillar of creating sound minds in a sound body. Let stay healthy. Education is power, also, health is wealth.

   •Credit: Dauda is a researcher that writes from the ancient city of Ilorin. He can be reached through [email protected] or 09094673158


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