Survey: It’s not all doom and gloom for the education sector amid pandemic

Monday, September 28th, 2020 00:00 |
Pupils in class. Photo/Courtesy

A survey on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education in Africa has found that educationists on the continent are optimistic about the future.

They believe that the crisis has served as a ‘wake-up call’ for the sector as it will encourage greater use of blended learning and new forms of technology assisted education and training in the continent’s schools, colleges and universities.

The eLearning Africa and EdTech Hub report revealed that 50 per cent of surveyed African teachers, trainers and education technology specialists think the pandemic will turn out to be a ‘significant’ or ‘very significant’ opportunity for African education.

eLearning Africa Director Rebecca Stromeyer said that the survey showed that there was ‘plenty of evidence of ingenuity and innovation at all levels in many countries in responding to the crisis.

“The crisis has been a real challenge for Africa, but it has not, by and large, been the catastrophe that was predicted,” she said.

At the continental level, the report dubbed The Effect of Covid-19 on Education in Africa and its Implications for the Use of Technology, observed that available technologies have been used  to carry on teaching and learning.

The survey is based on interviews with more than 1,600 education and technology professionals across Africa, who were asked about their experience of the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications.

At least 85 per cent of respondents thought that the use of technology would be more widespread as a result of the crisis.

Senior Lecturer in the School of Open and Distance Learning, University of Nairobi and Vice-Chair, UoN Alumni Association,  Dr Anne Aseey  says educational institutions have somehow weathered the storm in meeting the demands for enhanced teaching and learning using an array of devices during the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya. 

For institutions, learning and teaching will change to incorporate new inventions and innovations, which will aid and assist in offering quality, relevant and competitive education.

Joyce Mukabwa who has worked in technology and education for over 20 years and believes in the ‘fundamental role in society’ of educational technologies said: “We have the opportunity in the face of the pandemic to improve the uses and access to technologies aimed at learning, at a time when students and teachers can become protagonists of a new model of education,” she says.

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