Marta Jesulake, a teacher with the Lagos State Ministry of Education, has advocated for public and private schools in Nigeria to adopt blended learning as an alternative method for students to improve learning outcomes.
Blended learning, also known as hybrid learning, is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods.
She made the advocacy during the June edition of EdTech Mondays, an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation in partnership with Co-Creation Hub.
Speaking at a roundtable session on “strategies required to accelerate blended learning in Nigeria”, Jesulake noted that the need to make learning exciting and interactive with students informed the decision to explore and adopt a blended learning methodology. While acknowledging some of the challenges faced in deploying blended learning, she explained that the creative ingenuity brought to bear had helped a great deal in improving learning outcomes among the students.
She stated that with blended learning, barriers such as the high costs of expansion and infrastructure maintenance, among others, would become shattered, thus enabling students to learn quickly and conveniently.
“With blended learning, we are creating spaces for teachers to dedicate more time to their learners. Besides, it also reduces the barrier to access to education, including continuing to learn virtually in case of emergencies.
According to her, the challenges of access to technological devices and access to internet connectivity were significant hindrances to blended learning.
While admitting that blended learning is growing in Nigeria, she stated that the COVID-19 pandemic altered considerably as schools became more receptive to the alternative learning approach.
She further stressed the need for government to support the teachers by offering them training opportunities to ensure that both the teachers and students become fully aware of its significance.
“Well, you know, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we began to see that it’s possible to learn outside the four walls of the classroom. So, I want to believe that our teachers can be supported with requisite training if we are ready to embrace this new shift. For example, the Lagos State government is doing a good job training teachers. However, I think a lot still needs to be done. You know, teachers need to be creative, teachers need to be aware that they don’t need to do everything on their own”, she said.