Ogun State Government has introduced classes on dedicated website and the State-owned television station to partially make-up for missed classes during the coronavirus holiday in the State.
It would be recalled the State Government ordered the closure of all schools in the State following the spread of COVID-19 across the world with two cases in the State, and 40 confirmed cases as at 11:00p.m of 23rd March, and death of one person in Abuja.
The programme tagged: Ogun State Digital Class, is an initiative of the State Government to provide virtual education to students in primary and secondary schools acoss the State.
The message on dedicated website for the programme http://ogundigiclass.ng/ has it that the OgunDigiClass is a digital classroom and a first of its kind in Nigeria to feature experience Ogun State educators in primary and secondary schools with 21st century innovative teaching and learning process.
Ogun Digital Class has commenced on Ogun State Television (OGTV) DSTV – 260 and GOtv -100 with the classes scheduled for Primary school pupils from 9:00a.m to 11a.m from Monday to Friday.
Similarly, the Digital class will be broadcast on OGTV for Secondary school students between the hours of 11:00a.m to 12noon and 12noon to 2:00p.m from Monday to Friday.
There was public streaming of the classes on OGTV on Tuesday 24th March, 2020 between 9a.m to 10a.m for primary pupils and 10a.m to 11a.m for secondary pupils against the scheduled time earlier announced. There was repeat broadcast of the Digital Class on OGTV by 1:00pm and it was ongoing as at the time of writing this article.
However, the online streaming of the Ogun Digital Class has not commenced as at 1:15p.m when the dedicated website http://ogundigiclass.ng/ was accessed.
The subjects focus of the Digital classes are Mathematics and English Language (Lower and Upper Elementary), and Mathematics and English (Secondary School).
The administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun employed the services of “dedicated 21st century educators/volunteers from Secondary Schools in the State” for the Digital classes.
The Ogun State Government should be commended for the innovation as it is expected to keep the students who are on coronavirus holiday busy.
My children were glued to the television set to watch and listen to the classes and they were fascinated by the mode of delivery.
Other State Governments and the Federal Government should take cue from this ingenuity to bridge the gap occasioned by this compulsory holiday of students in Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from sustainability, the issue of digital divides and inadequate infrastructure such as epileptic power supply and digital literacy will definitely influence the premium service of Ogun Digital Class.
The Ogun State government should extend the Digi Class to radio stations in the State so that people in the grassroot and those without stable electricity supply will benefit from this unique initiative.
This incident and emergency situation lay credence to the need for government at all levels to improve on infrastructure needs of Nigerians and the economy.
There is also need for the government to review the education policy to further encourage and sustain online and education broadcast at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
The Ogun State Government should also maximise the benefits offered by the social media platforms to reach wider audience with the initiative.
Apart from the fact that the online streaming of the digital class is not presently functioning, the twitter handle @DigiClass which was opened this month has only six followers with yours sincerely as one of the followers. No single tweet, photo or video on the twitter page.
The Ogun State Digital Class has no presence on Facebook, Youtube, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Instagram.
The handlers of this initiative can develop Apps and subscribe to popular Education Software Solutions firms to make the Ogun Digital Class truly digital.
If the Ogun State Government improves on this innovation and sustain it after the corona holiday, it will no doubt improve the quality of education in the State.
The administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun should fulfil its electoral promise to “make compulsory, ICT education in Secondary Schools” in Ogun State as a way of further enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Digital Class in the State.
It must also be reiterated that the Federal, other 35 State Governments and the Federal Capital Territory must key into this innovation from Ogun State so that the quality of education will not further nosedive after the coronavirus holiday.
The Government should also involve other stakeholders at the public and private sectors in order to maximise the benefits inherent in this innovation introduced by the Ogun State Government.
In his inaugural speech after being sworn-in as the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun observed that “the state of Education in the State is worrisome”.
The administration of Governor Abiodun should also be reminded his vow to declare State of emergency in education sector due to its worrisome state of education.
Find below selected quotes from the inaugural speech of Governor Abiodun on May 29, 2019 to remind his administration of his commitment to the education sector:
“Confidence has been eroded, unless we act quickly, education which is already in serious trouble will get worse. We cannot afford to have our education, which should be the bedrock of all our development activities, our topmost industry- be in such a state.
Today, this State has the largest number of public and private universities, and we are what Boston is to the United States of America.
However, this legacy is being gradually eroded with the declining standards of education system in the state and uninspiring performances of the products in national and internationally moderated examinations. Restoring the glory of Ogun State education system requires an urgent, comprehensive and disruptive approach akin to the declaration of a State of Emergency.
Consequently, we will convene an Education Stakeholders Summit that will bring all experts and relevant stakeholders to discuss and proffer solutions to the deplorable state of education in the State from Early Child Education (ECE), to primary, secondary, tertiary as well as technical and vocational training schools.
We shall establish Centers of Excellence in our educational institutions that will be driven by our ICT initiatives, which will contribute significantly to research, learning and innovation through review of curriculum, provision of broadband connectivity and strategic alliances with other local and foreign institutions of repute.
We shall ensure that our schools are conducive for learning through provision of adequate infrastructure and facilities. We will embark on a massive capacity building program for our teachers to enable them upgrade their skills and qualifications in order to prepare them adequately for their unique role of imparting knowledge and finally, we shall put in place a monitoring and performance management systems to ensure that all these interventions bear good results.
RELATED PRESS RELEASE
COVID-19: Ogun Commences Digital Classes for Primary, Secondary School Students
In view of government’s directive on the ban of high density gathering due to the COVID 19 virus, which subsequently informed the closure of Public and private schools across the State, the Ogun State Government wishes to inform parents, guardians and the general public of the commencement of electronic visual learning on the State owned Television station, OGTV.
The digital classrooms for children of primary and secondary schools across the State, according to the Special Adviser on Special Adviser, Primary Secondary and Technical Education in the State, Mrs Ronke Soyombo, is “tagged OgunDigiClass is an initiative of the State Government in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology is to ensure that learners are still undergoing the learning process while on the unplanned impromptu academic recess.
“OgunDigiClass would daily feature top-notch educators who would handle core topics in English and Mathematics at both Primary and Secondary Schools levels”
She added that the visual learning will run as follows:
Public streaming on OGTV (Channel 25, 260 on DSTV, 100 on GoTV) between the hours of:
9:00am – 10:00am (Classes for Primary Schools)
10:00am – 11:00 (Classes for Primary Schools)
1:00pm – 2:00pm (Classes for secondary Schools)
Students who do not have the opportunity to be part of the televised sessions could also to visit www.ogundigiclass.ng to watch the recorded version of the classes.
Additionally, students can also send questions on any subject on this platform while the teachers assist them.
Parents and guardians are hereby enjoined to ensure that appropriate measures are emplaced to enable their wards benefit from this arrangement.
The electronic visual school commences 24th March 2020 and will be on throughout the duration of the closure of schools.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun