Written by Tabe Brandon
“I stand here to represent the millions of students, especially from Africa. The current global pandemic is a big bowl to the world has it has humbled even the mightiest of nations and economy not minding your status or financial standing. This pandemic has changed a lot about my life and the life other students just like myself though the scenarios might be different. This global pandemic has had adverse effects as well as positive effects;
Change in the learning approach
This new approach of digital education is having untold consequences on the students in Africa. Africa is no doubt backwards as compared to other continents, especially in technology. This pandemic took them unaware just as the rest of the world, with their low-income standards and backwardness in technology, they have to still respect barrier measures to the fight against cov19 hence ensure studies continue in the midst of this pandemic, online learning was adopted from primary to Universities level this caused a great deal on the students. It’s worthy of note that just 35% on an average of the total number of students population have access to a computer and other gadgets hence the feasibility of online learning adopted was not fruitful masses of the students could not access studies especially at the university and secondary levels, added to this the unreliable, electricity supply, network connections and data been so costly made so many students unable to follow up with studies during this period of time, students who can’t even afford a 3square mile how much more pay for constant data connection it’s sure a big no for them.
Notwithstanding the minority who have access to these gadgets and opportunity to study online can’t focus as they are battle with social media gist and their studies in absolute freedom. There are even cases of no school at all as some countries within the continent find the online learning useless because they discovered masses of the students won’t benefit from it hence such students are already counting of this year in their studies thereby disrupting their career plans and goals set per time. Again the complete absence/curb down of extracurricular activities which made learning interesting is a big blow to many of this students as learning to them has now become boring and it’s for sure going to affect their performance in a grand style.
Lost of Funding opportunities; scholarship, aids and other grants have been halted especially scholarship to study abroad due to the current pandemic most funds have been directed to the fight against it as they say survival is of utmost importance.
Most students who could not fund their studies but relied on scholarship are having a difficult time coping as their scholarship grants have been reduced, redrawn or denied especially international scholarships. This is a big bone to swallow as their only hope of getting access to education is shattering before their very eyes, helplessly they can’t do anything to salvage this situation but wait still the fight against this pandemic is declared won’t or cope with the new way of life. This effect has directly affected me personally as I got admissions into several universities abroad yet no scholarship to pursue studies so I end up losing the admission opportunity. Certain countries within the continent still opened up their doors for studies while respecting the barrier measures, yet studies have become so stressful, as classes are split into smaller groups to avoid crowding in classes so too is the number of hours increased and learning days weekends no more exist as students go to school from Mondays to Sundays hopefully to catch up with the curriculum before the year runs out this puts students understand the high level of stress and undermine their efficiency and effectiveness in studies.
Globally especially for the African students though most hit by this pandemic it has, paved new waves of opportunities for students globally.
Waving of test scores. Most European universities after due consideration of the economic impacts of this crisis on the economy of most nations especially the underdeveloped once and the immobility and lockdown imposed by most government access to test score centres and even finance for this test scores are very difficult if not impossible for now hence testes just as TOEFL, GMAT and other tests required for admission into foreign universities have been waived. This is a great opportunity for students to gain admission to international universities and fulfil their dreams of studying abroad.
The outbreak of free online certificate courses: Never in the history of the earth has there been a scale of free online courses as now. U can study and get a certificate at some of the prestigious institutions, organization and universities for free using your laptop and smartphone, this is a great deal as it aid capacity building and add colour to your CV.
Improvement in educational systems: This pandemic has proved wrong and exposed the weaknesses of most educational systems especially in Africa. The current digital system of education adopted by the world though still shaky in Africa in a matter of years it will be upgraded to standards as it ushered a new light to the educational system of Africa. Africa can’t be left behind she must prepare herself and her educational system for unseen circumstances hence it must adopt resilience and more affordable system of which certain countries have begun to implement in the midst of this global crisis.
The world is yet to recover from this shock as millions of people keep dying, businesses shut down, and several controversial issues surrounding this crisis take the lead in the social media while some gallant individuals are sizing the opportunity for capacity building through online courses and training. We can however not deny the importance of health and safety it’s on this note I highly recommend all barriers measures as stipulated by the WHO and other bodies be respected so we can together declare a victory over this pandemic and return to our normal lives soonest. Remember he that has life has hope!!!. It’s on this note I extend my heartfelt condolences to anyone reading this article who might have lost a love one or family to this pandemic I acknowledge you to keep the faith and hopes up we shall overcome!!!”