The pandemic affected not only the health of the population worldwide but the economy, politics, as well as education matters. When speaking of the academic situation in Africa, it is believed to be worse like never before but there are prospects to study despite all the difficulties. Let’s find out what African students can expect from education in 2021.
Educational Struggles in Africa in 2020
Before the pandemic, the world has already faced a learning crisis. Around 53% of 10 years old kids living in the countries of the third world have been found to fail reading with comprehension. The onset of the pandemic led to taking approximately 1.6 billion students out of schools which only strengthened the learning poverty. To deal with such a situation, many educational institutions went for distance learning online, but some African schools are out of mobile devices. That’s why governments and development partners work their best to remedy that learning poverty.
Today, Sub-Saharan Africa greatly suffers from the learning crisis where it was estimated at 87% before the onset of COVID-19. So, the increase might be small at 4% on average. It means that the situation would affect those students who have been already found to fail reading.
If speaking of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Africa regions, children there are below the minimum proficiency level. The pandemic may occasionally increase the learning deprivation gap. It will then lead to double or triple costs of remedying the learning crisis in the continent.
The HRW organization conducted a variety of remote interviews with educational representatives, and students from the Africa continent including Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Morocco among others to learn the effects of COVID-19 on education out there. The results showed that many students have been excluded from their educational institutions. Other findings showed that most children did not get any education after the closure of schools. They did not have any instructions, interactions from their teachers on further learning. Only some children from private schools have received some kind of printed assignments, but they had nothing to do with normal education. The prints instructed students just to reread the previous notes and repeat the exercises. Those who continued with book lessons found it hard to study without the teacher’s supervision. Finally, some students claimed to receive revision papers twice a month through WhatsApp.
One of the biggest concerns regarding distance learning is related to limited internet data in some students, hence, they cannot simply download learning materials. Teachers also face such difficulties as they may disappear and after some time show up and say they did not have enough Internet credit.
Finally, one of the concerns of the learning crisis is home isolation which leads to stress, anxiety, and depression. It may result from a lack of communication with the student’s school community.