We Asked 6 Nigerian Teachers How Covid-19 Is Affecting Them

May 13, 2020

If you’ve ever taken an online course, then you know how hard it can be. And this is you as an adult who knows the importance of these things, let alone a child who just wants to watch Nickelodeon in peace.

Curious about how learning has been outside a classroom, I asked Nigerian teachers how the experience has been.

Kola – 28.

“The major challenge has been the novelty of passing information via a screen. This is not even about using computers and all. It has been difficult to pass knowledge because this is a new technology for both the teachers and the students in these parts. Most times, we use some measure of fear to make the students sit still and focus, but that effect is not the same over a screen.”

Alex, 26.

“A major challenge is timing. The student that had the longest attention span was 1 hour. Over time, they got tired because they are also affected by what is happening. To them, the fact that they are not in the classroom gives them the idea that they are meant to be relaxed. Not having to dress up and get into traffic makes them feel like they are on holiday. So, if you tell them that they have to come online at this time, and they have to do that every day, what happens is that they lose interest.

So, it’s not as effective as them showing up physically everyday. They don’t get the chance to be tired if it’s physically. They may be tired but they have to see it through.”

Bode, 24.

“I run a private tutorial center and it’s a bit more expensive to run an online class than offline. There are many factors. Firstly, we are making lesser money per hour online because of reduced hours. Students are only taking 30 mins to an hour lesson as compared to 2 – 3 hours of lessons.

Secondly, parents are not ready to pay as much as before because they are cutting costs. So, lesser revenue and increased expenditure.

Thirdly, internet and power are such a big issue that sometimes you wonder why you bother. It’s so easy to give up after the tenth “can you hear me?”

Kehinde, 27.

“I tutor IELTS and since the exam got suspended, students haven’t been coming. Many of them think the world is ending and IELTS won’t matter again. So, I haven’t had any students in a while. It has been a tough couple of months as this is my main hustle. I am just grateful that my wife has a job because it would have been terrible for us.”

Biola, 27.

“I run a tutorial center for WAEC and JAMB in Mushin. My business model is a large crowd paying small money so I can make a turnover. I optimize for one thousand students paying N1,000. But now that Government has said we should lockdown, I have been losing money everyday – No crowd.

I thought of going online but the students can’t even afford data to watch the videos. I am confused about how to help them. At this point, it’s not even about the money, it’s about helping kids who are already at an obvious disadvantage. I feel sitting at home may widen that disadvantage compared to their richer counterparts who can afford online home tutorial.”

Tosin, 23.

“I am happy oh. Thank God for COVID so I don’t have to show up in any useless school. I don’t know why NYSC sends graduates to teach. I don’t think there’s any NYSC teacher that enjoys teaching. Let them lock us down till this foolish NYSC is over.”

You should totally read this next: We Asked 5 Nigerian Students How They Dealt With Failing A Course.

Hassan Yahaya

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