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introduction of e-learning in schools is worrying tutors in Africa

Updated on August 9, 2016

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Working with computers is challenging. It requires a resolute to succeed.
Working with computers is challenging. It requires a resolute to succeed. | Source

Introduction

Most governments in Africa are now interested in introducing e-learning in their schools. This is not being taken kindly by many players who feel that the program will definitely affect their businesses and career in a negative way. The advantages accrued to these programs are forcing these governments to do all they can to fight off the detractors of the programs in a bid to modernize learning in public schools and in extension, the whole education fraternity in countries.



Youths are open to learning new stuff.

It is easier to learn computer science if you start earlier in life. Here you are open to any new stuff without fear of failure.
It is easier to learn computer science if you start earlier in life. Here you are open to any new stuff without fear of failure. | Source

The challenges the governments are going through

As most governments in Africa are determined to introduce use of laptops as the main media of learning starting from standard one class and eventually moving up all the classes in primary and secondary schools, they are getting untold resistance from tutors. Most of the tutors are uncomfortable with this mode of learning from the fear of losing their jobs to technology. The labor force required in these public schools will gradually reduce as the use of laptops gets entrenched. Eventually a whole primary school of one stream would require less than eight tutors to take the children through their education. At present such a school would be accommodating more than twenty tutors.




One-laptop-per-child environment

Cropped photo of very young children in a One-Laptop-Per-Child environment with XO-1 computers.
Cropped photo of very young children in a One-Laptop-Per-Child environment with XO-1 computers. | Source

What it would take tutors to be conversant with the program

The tutors would be required to go back to college to learn some computer science so that they can be of help to the learners. The lessons are required to be taken wholly through information technology meaning that a computer illiterate tutor will be of no use to these learners. Instead of traditional hard books, e-books will be in use as the main source of information and reference. Tests and homework will be through these machines which will ease the work load of a tutor as the computer programs available will help in the marking of these tests and homework. Tutors will be advised to attend computer science classes either through evening classes or by joining in-service programs which necessitate them only to attend lessons during the school vacations. This should be done before the teachers are allowed to take students through lessons using the e-learning mode.



How the e-learning program will save the learners from strike effects

Any time there is an industrial action and the tutors down their chalk in these countries learners suffer immensely. The students who attend public schools are disadvantaged because teachers in private schools do not participate in national strikes called by unions representing primary and secondary schools tutors. All this is bound to change with the introduction of e-learning in these classes. Whenever the tutors from these schools go on strike and down their computer mouse and stylus , the government can communicate homework to the learners online. Marking of such homework will also be done online therefore effectively frustrating the strike.




Empty class as a result of tutors' unions industrial action

During tutors' strikes learners are always the most affected group in the tussle.
During tutors' strikes learners are always the most affected group in the tussle. | Source

Other players who are likely to lose out

It is rumored that the strikes of such nature are also fueled by many interested players. The school textbook publishers, suppliers and other related business people might also be on their lookout lest they were to lose their main market for their business. Suppliers of traditional writing materials would have to look for alternative markets when the e-learning programs are operational.Librarians in traditional libraries which are usually stocked with hard books will have to give way to e-libraries. Of course this is not a good wait for these people who are praying for delay or even failure of the projects' kick off. Opposition politicians are also aware that successful roll out of such programs would popularize the ruling party among the citizens so much so that it would be hard to beat them in any subsequent political elections. In this regard the opposition party members always put a lot handles in the implementation of such noble initiatives. On the other hand we have groups of people who can’t wait for the programs to roll out. These include computer technicians and programmers . Security personnel will be in high demand in these schools to scare off would be material thieves from the institutions of learning. Dealers in computer and other related material will also benefit from introduction of e-learning in African schools. Curricular developers are also among big beneficiaries of such programs as governments will call on them to help out in setting workable syllabus for learners.



Summary

Introduction of e-learning in schools would ease labor force and resources requirements in education. Initially the cost of introduction of such programs is high due to the equipment needing to be purchased. Tutors have also to be trained in this new mode of teaching. This sort of programs are getting resistance from many quarters although some other groups of people are eager to see their successful roll out.





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