Teachers welcome e-learning, note some inhibitions

Teachers welcome e-learning, note some inhibitions

By Chinaza Nwachukwu, Onitsha

Teachers in Onitsha and environs have continued to react with mix feelings over e-learning adopted in Anambra in the interim to augment closure of schools.

The closure was sequel to the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic across the world including Anambra State as part of measures to contain spread of the virus.

However, in a bid to augment a learning process caused by closure of schools, the Anambra State Government opted to use on-the-air teaching via Radio and Television to keep primary and secondary school children busy.

Information officers visited some schools in Onitsha South Local Government Area to feel pulse of teachers, who had been asked to resume, preparatory to anticipated re-opening some time soon.

At the Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha, Vice Principal (VP) Administration, Mrs Ngozi Anyadiegwu said the usefulness of the e-learning, especially in this pandemic era, could not be over emphasised.

“The Principal, Rev. Fr. Celestine Okafor organised for in-house training of the teachers on how to upload lesson notes online in all subjects that include audio and visuals.’’

According to her because of the well organised arrangement, the programme has been running smoothly.

“The participating students and teachers are cooperating in spite of some technical problems. Initially the exercise was not easy for teachers over a lack of mobile telephones and poor digital knowledge.

Mrs Anyadiegwu adds: “after the training and regular practice, the teachers have improved significantly in upload of their lesson notes in visual and audio packages for vetting.

“We have also started assessment checks on students living in and around Onitsha to enable us to assess their performances and the number of those participating.

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“In spite of the commitment by the teachers in the school’s internal programme, CKC is also fully involved in the state’s online teaching programme,’’ she said.

At the Pioneer 1 Primary School, Odoakpu, Onitsha, Mrs Patricia Iwobi, a Form 4 Class Teacher and Mrs Hope Nwachukwu, another Form 6 Class Teacher noted that in order to help their pupils they conduct Excel Assessment.

“Under the arrangement, pupils come and collect assessment works from the school, go home, solve and return them through their parents,’’ noted Mrs Iwobi

She said that management had in compliance with government directives on COVID-19 Protocol Trainings altered the would-be seating arrangements of pupils.

“Other COVID-19 protocols like placing of water for washing hands in all classes and strategic places in schools have been arranged, ahead of the resumption.’’

Mrs Nwachukwu on the other hand, observed that it was not all pupils that participated in the Excel Assessment Programme because some were involved in hawking of goods to assist their families.

“I am even afraid that not all of them will come back to school when classes resume,’’ she said.

At the O’Connor Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Odakpu, Mrs Gloria Okwudili and Mrs Annette Olisa, Class Teachers hold contrary views over the reopening of schools.

According to them, it is better to keep children that are most vulnerable to Coronavirus pandemic at home, rather than exposing them to the pandemic.

They claimed that early resumption before the pupils had helped them to carry out disinfection of all classrooms.

The teachers urged Government to provide safety measures and protective kits for children on resumption just like what had taken place in some foreign countries.

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At the Urban Girls’ Secondary School, the Vice-Principal, Admin Senior, Mrs Ifeyinwa Asah commended the introduction of e-learning.

She said the teachers in her school embraced digital learning and had been uploading audio lessons to students through whatsapp platforms.

However, she identified problems like unstable power supply; some parents and students did not have telephones as well as poor internet accessibility, could be setbacks to smooth running of the programmes.

“But in spite of the setbacks, the teachers have been holding lessons on air as directed; a good number of the students are now participating.’’

At the Urban Boys’ Secondary School, Fegge, the case was different, as Mrs Amaka Mojekwu, a Classroom Teacher said that they come and go without much work.

“The teachers have arranged their classes to maintain social distancing when school starts but the problem is that we lack accommodation which has compelled us to put so many student’s lockers out of the classrooms.’’

She added that e-learning was not progressing outside the school environment as some parents claim they would not get value for it.

“School closure is an opportunity for some parents to send their wards to trade, so they cannot be convinced to get involved in e-learning programmes,’’ she said.

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