THE INFLUENCE OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON TERTIARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

 

It’s no news that a much dreaded diseases; Corona virus, otherwise known as COVID-19 pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization(WHO) which began in December 2019 has ravaged the world.

Since 27th February, 2020 when our country Nigeria recorded its first index case till now, it has been a highlight one would not want to watch as the number of index cases have grown in limbs and bounds, which ultimately led to the shutdown of activities, as well as institutions in the country as a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of this global scourge.

INFLUENCE ON TERTIARY EDUCATION STUDENTS

The tertiary education is made up of all the post-secondary education such as: Universities, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, Monotheistic among others.

Now, looking into the influence of COVID-19, pandemic on our tertiary education, it then becomes noteworthy here to state thoroughgoing, some of the effects of the deadly virus in the aforesaid sector.

(1) Financial Constraint
(2) Loss/Inadequate Study Habit
(3) Interruption of Academic Calendar
(4) Increase in Examination Malpractice.

1. Financial Constraint: this is obviously a conventional problem in the sense that all the affected countries in the world have spent lots of money in a bid to proffering solution or say, curtailing the sporadic spread of this global pandemic. Nigeria, as one of the African countries badly experiencing the spread of this virus, and has subsequently spent a huge amount of money as a result. Having shut down institutions and activities where parents and guardians earn money used in training their children, as well as tertiary school students who train themselves in school. It, therefore, becomes a challenge for some families to continue training their offspring in such an institution since their source of income has been dealt with.

2. Poor/Inadequate Study Habit:  there is saying that ‘A hungry man is an angry man.’ In light of the above stated adage, it becomes plausible to say that students find it hard to study at home during this pandemic as a result of hunger and starvation, lack of motivation, unconducive environment.etc.

which give rise to a negative psychological disposition among such students. Students whose patents have little or no income to provide food would definitely be left with no other option than to engage in mini-jobs, and by so doing, lose the urge of studying.

3. Interruption of Academic Calendar: It is very lucid that tertiary institutions have had their academic calendars truncated, as a result of the pandemic–while some were doing exams, others were yet to start. No one knows when the academic activities will resume, for now.

Originally, the second semester would ha e started or about starting( as at the time of this work), but now, even if school resumes anytime soon, we would be encroaching into the supposed period of the second semester just for the completion of the first. It now becomes a conundrum to the Ministry of Education as to how the already disjointed academic calendar would be re-amended to fall in place in no time.

4.  Increase in Examination Malpractice: I chose to discuss this item at last because it is the most voluminous of them all( the already discussed 1-3 items) as it is ostensibly, the resultant effect of the above discussed three other items respectively.

Put succinctly, tertiary students who as a result of this pandemic are experiencing a financial constraint would inarguable encounter loss/inadequate study habit as a result. While the academic calendar is been interrupted due to the unusual inactive academic activities, obviously, when the said activities finally resume, the institutions would be in haste to administer exams, thereby, leaving the students with little or no time to study, even to pick up their reading form.

Imagine the level of malpractice students indulge in, earlier when they even had all the time on earth to study, let alone when they do not, many would be forced to resort to the use of microchips, ‘mgbo’, as it is popularly known these days, not minding the impending menace it may cause, if they are eventually caught with any of the extraneous materials.

ASSESSMENT/POSSIBLE SOLUTION

Before we get to the assessment/possible solution proper, let’s consider these items in a circular and hierarchical order.

(Space for the circular order)

Hierarchical order

*It would be very unfair of lecturers to seize this opportunity or medium to deal with their students. No lecturer should be allowed to set exam questions outside what he or she has taught. Hence, there should be a body saddled with the responsibility of moderating exam questions before they are being administered, so that some of the lecturers would not capitalize on that to extort money from casualties, or even sexually assault the female folks in order to have them pass. Definitely, there would be casualties, however, it shouldn’t be under the orchestration of lecturers, as neutrality is expected of them.

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Phillip Anuforo is the founder and CEO of Nalda.com.ng. He is dedicated to providing information relating to jobs, scholarships and education.

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