The Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria has seen schools shut their gates to students as part of measures to stop the spread.
While schools in France, United States of America and China have moved lessons online, students in Nigeria affected by factors such as poverty, lack of stable electricity supply and unable to afford Internet connectivity appears to have been left to their fate.
According to Josiah Magaji, a school principal in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the outbreak of the virus and its impact of the economy of the country has compounded the miseries of children from indigent homes.
He said, “It’s going to have a big impact on the attendance of schools even after everything is over. We used to struggle with out-of-school children who are poor and need to trek long kilometres to get to school.
“Some of these kids, their parents prefer for them to farm or hawk to travellers going to Kano. We used initiatives such as school feeding and scholarships to lure the in the past but I can tell you now that it would be difficult to bring most of them back. Some might have even married.”
Even though states like Lagos through its Ministry of Education have taken steps to deliver lessons via radio and television to students within the state, intended beneficiaries say it has not been enough.
“There is usually no light in my estate and we only put on the generator at night, so it’s difficult for me to follow the lessons,” Says Esther Augustine, a JSS3 pupil, who attends a government school in Ikeja.
“I have heard of people attending lectures online but I don’t have an iPad, my cousin in Canada told me she attends classes online with her own. I want to do same too online, so I want the Lagos State governor to make it happen,” she said.
Tertiary institution students also affected by the above-mentioned factors, say they struggle to cope with the demands of learning without the enabling environment.
A 100-level student of the University of Abuja, who only wants to be identified as Okeke, told SaharaReporters on Wednesday that she was finding it difficult to study at home and understand hard topics because she had no guidance.
She said, “It hasn’t been easy at all because we have to research on our own since we don’t have online classes and we don’t have guidance on particularly difficult topics.
“It has been tough and we are expected to write exams when school resumes especially 100 level students who just resumed.”