The Global Initiative for Entrepreneurship and Capacity Development has said that the Coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected the education of school children.
Founder of ICLED, Olajumoke Familoni [prof], said this at the virtual conference, themed Nigeria Reads: A panacea for Reducing the Digital Divide and Marginalisation of the primary school pupils as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
Familoni explained that families who could not afford data or lived in remote villages were the worst hit as such kids had not been able to participate in e-learning.
She added that some children were seen hawking different items on the streets.
‘’COVID-19 has a bad terrible effect on the education of our children especially for those in the villages and those who cannot afford or do not have access to mobile data.
Some children are on the streets hawking, going to markets, playing around.
‘’COVID-19 has really exposed the divide in our nation; while those who have access to data are the only ones attending online schools. Those who are less privileged have not been learning. The federal and state governments need to do something as these will breed more miscreants, Boko haram terrorists and the likes, ’she said.
It was in this direction that she partnered with an organisation, Smart Kids Club, the United States of America, which created an application called ‘’Nigeria reads app’’ which was also unveiled during the conference. According to her, the application would bridge the global digital divide in primary education in Nigeria as it does not require data to operate it.
She said: ‘’This application from our USA partner, Smart Kids Club will bridge the divide by teaching reading skills for literacy and mathematic skills for numeracy.’’
Familoni said the application had the entire Nigerian educational curriculum for different age, classes and level of the children.
She said: ‘’This application will be very useful for teachers, students and parents anytime, especially in this era of the new normal [virtual learning]. So we will strongly recommend it to every school and every parent who desires to get the best out their children with minimal efforts and minimal cost. There are also children in the cities and in the Northern areas that have no access to education due to lack of data and power. The COVID-19 has increased the number of students with no access to education and increased in vices such as rape, abuse, kidnapping and poverty,’’familoni said.