Online learning in Nigeria -The Pros and Cons
Online learning is becoming a very common means of learning in the world though it existed before 2020 as some foreign Universities have an option for their students to undergo their degree online and tutors are assigned to them based on the programme they are running.
The use of online learning was intensified following the outbreak of Covid-19 and private schools in Nigeria were the first to adopt it immediately and this made them stand out amongst their counterparts that were on strike.
It is important to define what online learning is all about as everyone knows what it means but only a few fully understand how it works and the mechanisms behind it.
Online learning is also known as e-learning is a form of learning that can be done without the students or teachers being physically present in the classroom.
The basic definition of online learning is a form of learning that is done via the internet and for this to work, there has to be a strong internet connection and there would have to set up a platform that supports it. Examples of platforms that support e-learning are Zoom, Cisco WebeX Meeting, Adobe Connect, Schoology, Blackboard, Panopto, and Top Hat.
Now that we have defined what online learning is all about and the platforms that one can use to do an online class then it is important to move to the Pros and Cons of Online learning. We would try our best to be transparent also please note that the aim of this article is not to criticize or support anything but to provide information that would be valuable to our readers.
Pros of Online Learning
There are a lot of advantages attached to online learning and we would try to list and also describe the pros of online learning below:
- It is Comfortable: Online learning is the most comfortable means of learning as one can stay in the comfort of his home and attend his/her lectures or classes. In a typical Nigerian setting, students would leave their hostels and homes and trek or charter cars before they can arrive at their lecture venues. Those who use cars risk being held in a traffic jam which is very common in most Nigerian cities also there are situations where the lecturer cancels the lecture or changes the venue and hereby forcing students to start looking for the other lecture venues. The combination of this unprecedented movement is very stressful and one would end up being very tired by the end of the day and this is where Online learning is advantageous over offline lectures as lectures cannot start without a lecturer being present also there would be nothing like a change of venues.
- Flexibility: E-learning is a very convenient means of learning and learning can be done at any day of the week and any time that is convenient for both the teachers and lecturers. Offline learning is mostly done from Mondays to Saturdays but E-learning can be done at any place and at any time.
CONS OF Online Learning
In as much as the advantages of e-learning are numerous, there are also disadvantages to this form of learning and we have outlined a few of them below:
- It is expensive: Online learning is very expensive to set up and also for any class, participants would have to buy data worth N1,000 or above in order to be able to participate also not every student in Nigeria can afford this means of learning and that is why we listed this as the first point.
- It is limited by Poor Network: Online learning is limited by poor networks and only those who can boast of good network connection can enjoy this means of learning. In Nigeria, a good network connection is mostly found in Urban cities and states while rural cities and states tend to always have poor network connections.
- It is Limited by Poor Electricity Supply: Nigeria is a country that cannot boast of 24 hours light unlike other countries and one of the hindrances to online learning is poor electricity supply especially in rural cities where some people can stay up to four(4) months without seeing light and also in urban cities, electricity is poor in some states compared to others.
With this being said, for online learning to be fully implemented in a country like Nigeria, there have to be improvements in several things such as the supply of electricity which is becoming evidently frustrating for our citizens as regulatory bodies in charge of electricity are hiking the electricity tariff without increasing the rate of electricity supply.
With the rate at which things are going, schools across the country would be forced to adopt e-learning as a form of learning so as to avoid disruption to their respective calendars so we should all be open to receive it as e-learning is here to stay.