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Stakeholders Call on FG to increase Investment in Online Learning

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Stakeholders in the education sector have called on the Federal Government to increase investment in online learning platforms to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on education across the country.

The call followed the education survey carried out by Eduplana, a civic organisation in conjuction with Budgit and Oxfam, both tech-driven, and non- profit organisations.

The outcome of this survey was launched during a webinar,recently.

Owing to the impact of COVID-19 globally, the education of more than 1.9 million students have been adversely affected. Thus, to bridge inequality among children from different social strata, Eduplana analysed responses from over 1000 respondents across the 36 states and the FCT in Nigeria between July and August 2020.

The result of the survey revealed that about 70 per cent of Nigerians were unable to access learning during the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to the World Economic Forum, COVID-19 pandemic is revolutionising digital and online education globally. However, children in rural and underserved communities in Nigeria are left behind as they are not equipped to adapt to the new methods of learning.

From the survey, 66 percent of the respondents indicated they were not satisfied with government’s response to the development of online learning platforms.

Also, 51 percent wants government to invest in online learning platforms.

The Principal, Lead and CEO of Budgit, Gabriel Okeowo, emphasised the need for Nigeria to bridge the inequality gap in the country.

In his words, “In developed countries, schools were closed but learning did not stop due to their digital preparedness. However, this is not the case with Nigerian schools as basic learning stopped due to the schools’ inability to switch to digital learning platforms.

“Rather than increase education investment, government has further slashed budgetary allocation to the education sector.”

An officer of the Human Development Initiative, Mrs Bolanle Dare, also called on the government to see to it that schools adhere strictly to COVID-19 guidelines through proper monitoring by quality assurance officers.

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