Post-Covid-19 paradigm shift for teachers



There is a compulsory paradigm shift that we must all dance to as teachers and stakeholders in Nigeria’s educational system. While the change to online classes remains imperative with uncertainties and gusto, there is considerable achievement and positive shift in attitude towards this method in the past few months. This positive shift is recorded among very few schools, mostly top private schools in Nigeria.

Though online instructions are not new in many parts of the world, it is a kind of new experience with a very limited practice, thus requires many corrections, improvisations and special considerations on the part of the concerned authorities to make the approach a practical solution to teaching-learning in the bottleneck resulting from the complete shutdown of schools within the current crisis.

Teachers are essential for the implementation of this new online education doctrine. They are expected to suddenly have knowledge, skills, and ethics to conduct online teaching. The challenges among others lie in absence of practice; almost impromptu start; connecting the students staying in diverse places with even more diverse complexities such as availability of required internet speed, smart device, expenses on data; ensuring quality in teaching and learning, etc. This is seriously heavy on government schools and most private schools in Nigeria.

Needless to say is also a fact that the use of technology in education is resulting in different perceptions in the system; for instance, the move from teacher-centred learning to student-centred learning. Pedagogy in digital education is an important link between subject content, educationists, technology and students. Democratization of technology is now an important issue, comprising internet connectivity, telecommunication infrastructure, affordability of the system, availability of smart devices, educational software and online assessment tools, etc.

Although various challenges are there, the resolution of conducting online classes rather add some values and diversities which will enable our students fit for working in any context. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the educational background of the teachers has not prepared them for these sorts of career realities; hence the need for government to look into teacher training curriculum in Nigeria tertiary institutions and update the content therein to be more compliant and engaging in the face of emerging issues – proffering solutions and not creating problems.

It is thus worthy to state that teachers in this present era must dive into serious research and schooling to find out the missing links between theory and practice in order to fill the gap which has always existed. It is a unique responsibility of the teacher as a social reformer to satisfy the needs of not only the students and the societies but of the country.

Tosin Osemeobo,

Abuja.

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