AFED President Dismisses Virtual Classroom As Alternative During COVID-19 Era

The National President Association of Formidable Education Development (AFED) Mr Orji Emmanuel, has said online classroom is not yet an alternative to physical classroom.

The AFED President, said during a webinar on “School resumption in the face of increasing COVID-19 infection in Nigeria” organized by Lagos coalition against COVID-19.

He said “Online classroom is not yet an alternative, as electricity and data are big challenges.”

He noted that, to assist members of the association in coping with the new normal in the education, “We are talking with a Korea company to help us mass-produce small tablets which will be given to members at the cheapest rate.”

They will pay back over a period of time and one of the technology companies has agreed to give us data for learning. We are doing all we can to ensure every house hold get a tablet and over one million children will be engaged.”

Orji, also acknowledged the effort of Lagos State Government, while commending their impact, on the response to COVID-19 pandemic.

He added “The association with its over 7,000 private schools owners in Lagos State is making plans towards the safe reopening of their schools and all the health protocols are being worked upon in the interest of the students.”

He assured that arrangement are on ground to fulfill all the State government procedure as soon as they announce the reopening of schools for final year students’ external exams, “We have contracted people to help us in fulfilling all the instruction of the state government.”

On the number of schools run by the members of the Association, Orji hinted, “We have agreed to make our schooling six days in a week.

“Some students will come Mondays to Wednesday and others come on Thursday to Saturday, so we can use all available classes.”

On the issue concerning the effect of the lockdown, he further explained “I have not paid salary of my teachers since April and other school owners are facing the same challenge. I appealed for some forms of palliative or grant for school teachers and owners to survive at this time.

“If avenues for banks loans are available, we will gladly accept, as our members are dying due to the hunger and neglect occasioned by this pandemic.”

The Director, Health Education service of primary Health care Board, Mrs Owojuyigbe Modupe, urged stakeholders to collaborate effectively in adhering to the World Health Organization (WHO) health protocols for the safe reopening of the school.

Mrs Modupe stated that the state government is doing its best in training and building the capacity of its health officials across the state, in order for them to be swift in the response and control of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The webinar, anchored by a member of the coalition, Yusuf Kelani had over 50 participants, which include; Government officials, Civil Society Groups, School Owners, and also in attendance were; Chairman Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for all Lagos, Ronke Kimemenihia, and Chairman schools Management Committee Kosofe Local Government Area, Richard Odeyemi.

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