Lawmakers want education sector to set up system for e-learning

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Lawmakers, House of Reps members want education sector
Aniekan Umanah

FEDERAL lawmakers have urged the Federal Ministry of Education to develop a policy framework for e-learning at all levels, while imploring educational regulatory bodies to follow suit and incorporate modular system into school curricular.

The resolution in the House of Representatives followed the unanimous adoption of a motion by Hon. Aniekan Umanah (PDP-Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency Akwa Ibom), who at the plenary, Tuesday noted that the outbreak of coronavirus has altered the mode of education globally.

According to Umanah, the closure of schools by most governments around the world in order to contain the spread of coronavirus, “has caused a shift from the classrooms in our nation’s schools and affected roughly over 72 percent of the world student population.

“This has brought significant setback to academic endeavours, with far-reaching impacts on the more vulnerable and disadvantaged countries, such as Nigeria.

“The closure of schools, due to COVID-19, has kept over 1.2 billion children out of the classroom and as a result, education has changed drastically, with the increase in the use of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.

“Teachers and students have been forced to adjust and adapt to this unplanned rapid move to online teaching and learning, with no structure, training and equipment tools, and are faced with inadequate preparations.”

According to Umanah, the e-learning approach takes time and it is a gradual system of learning, while he noted that a database and e-learning pattern, supported with efficient communication and internet, must be in place.

The lawmakers had recalled that the Ministry of Education had earlier announced a free e-learning portal to create access to online education including radio and television classrooms.

Describing it as mere intentions, he said that reports had indicated that things were not working and not serving the desired need of closing the educational gaps.

Umanah said that research had shown that the level of preparedness for online learning in Nigeria was about 10 per cent, indicating that Nigeria’s educational system was lagging behind in facing up to the present reality of education.

The House of Reps Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committees on Basic and Tertiary Education to ensure compliance.

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