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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Columnist: Amofa Yaw Owusu

The effect of shutdown of schools on Ghanaian students

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“Not having learned it is not as good as having learned it; having learned it is not as good as having seen it carried out; having seen it is not as good as understanding it; understanding it is not as good as doing it.”

From day one, President Nana Akufo-Addo ordered the indefinite closure of all schools to ensure public safety and protection of the Ghanaian population, what effect does this situation had on students in the country.

Most educational institutions began exploring options in online learning. But one may ask, would this online learning favour every student. Because most of us, the students live in deprived areas and the fact is that, some of these deprived areas lack electricity and proper networking. So how could students in such areas like these enjoy online learning?

Although, since the shutdown of schools on March,16, some parents have chosen for homeschooling to control the effect of their ward’s education. But this is not as much as easy as many parents are anticipating. There are many distractions. Sometimes, the child would watch TV, some parents in deprived areas will drag theirs wards to farm, others too will also be super busy with their businesses and they will not even have time to supervise the child’s learning abilities at all.

Many children will not have time to learn at home. Because they think they are on holiday. In fact, the shutdown of schools in Ghana will affect student’s learning abilities drastically. Most at times you will see children roaming about and it looks like they don’t even know that they are supposed to stay at home.

Most of my friends have reported to me that, they have not opened their books ever since schools were shutdown, but, frankly speaking, these pupils are always busy with their books at any place you will found them on campus. This clearly shows that many students only learn actively at school but found it a bit challenging to study whilst at home.

Most students also getting worried about the effectiveness and feasibility of online pedagogy since most of the lecturers are technologically illiterate and find it difficult to manage online teaching. Again, many of the students at the higher educational level who have little or no access to the digital tools will find themselves stuck at the periphery of the educational system while their more privileged colleagues continue to enjoy the benefits of online learning.

I believe, president Nana Akufo-Addo became distraught at taking the bull by the horn to shut down schools, but the rate at which the novel coronavirus was increasing in other countries convinced him for which he had no other choice but to close down schools to protect the country against the spread of the virus.

But all the same, the shutdown of schools has done most students in the country more harm than good.

Amofa Yaw Owusu

KNUST- Obuasi Campus