Nigeria: Students urge FG to reopen higher institutions

Students in some higher institutions in the country have called on the Federal Government to reopen schools.

The students, who made the call in separate interviews  with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Ilorin, urged that measures against COVID-19 should be taken to safeguard the health of students and lecturers as schools plan to reopen.

A-200 level student of Al-Hikmah University Ilorin, Bilkisu Yahya-Owuna of Department of Medical Laboratory said government had taken a bold decision for allowing SSS3 students to resume.

Yahya-Owuna said that government should also think of a way of reopening schools.

She said that most private institutions had embarked on online lectures for classes and exam with a large number of students’ population, which according to her “lack consistency’’.

Yahya-Owuna said depending on online education in Nigeria alone would expose students to failure because of poor network, poor power supply, lack of conducive learning environment and consumption of data.

She said although online education had its merit including flexible, less communication and no expenses on travel, handout and accommodation among others, the demerit still outweighed the merit for students.

“As a student of medical laboratory, there are some practical to carry out physically which our lecturers directed us to watch YouTube.

“This is not effective for learning as we were meant to carry out the experiments by ourselves to give us the required knowledge,’’ she said.

Miss Gift Olawuwo, another student from Anchor University, Lagos said that online education created a sense of isolation, cheating and lack of seriousness in students.

She said that monitoring of examination through Zoom, Skype, Google and WhatsApp were not as effective as physical monitoring.

Mr Nicholas Ajayi, a civil servant and parent of a student in University of Ilorin, however, believed that online education reduced the expenses of sending children to school and fear of rape and sexual harassment that students faced during traditional education.

Ajayi said that online education prepared students and lecturers ahead of the classes to be more interesting and interactive for better understanding of the students.

He urged government to make plans to maintain physical distancing of two feet in school and other precautionary measures to COVID-19 because the virus had come to stay, “we must learn how to live with it’’.

Farida Ahmed, a 300 level student of Fountain University, Osogbo, Oyo State said online lecture was a breakthrough due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying; “although I am about to sit for the online examination, I am apprehensive about it”.

Kolawole Tesleem, a 300 level student of Alhikmah University, Ilorin said that online lectures were advantageous as students as they could always go back to listen to voice notes if they did not understood what was taught earlier.

He added that online lectures and examinations were done at the student’s convenience and comfort.

Tesleem said that online lectures could be done with relaxation and students learn at their leisure time.

“Online examination is however expensive as I used almost three gigabyte of data for each course during examination and network issues is also a problem of Nigeria,” Kolawole said.

He, however, appealed to the government to open tertiary institutions so that physical learning could take place and social distancing would be observed.

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