Austin Tam-George a communication and educational consultant, has urged African leaders to rethink the educational delivery methods in schools across the continent, following the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tam-George made the call at a recent virtual conference organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to evaluate research findings on the impact of COVID-19 and e-learning on the education of young people in over 70 countries around the world.
Reports show that the education of 1.5 billion young people around the globe were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many resorting to online learning.
UNESCO is seeking to document the experiences of young learners during the COVID-19 crisis as a basis for recommendations for educational policy reforms in the most impacted countries.
Speaking at the conference, Tam-George noted that one of the lessons of the pandemic’s impact on education in Nigeria was the need to train teachers on digital teaching, online instructional learning design, and evaluation. Many teachers seemed ill-prepared for the sudden demands of online education, he said.
“We need a new pedagogical playbook that prepares teachers on digital teaching, learning and evaluation” Tam-George said, adding that “Rather than the isolated training of individual teachers by schools, we need a deeper structural reform. Colleges of Education must develop a comprehensive curriculum to train teachers on digital education”.
Tam-George who was appointed by UNESCO to serve as a technical advisor at the conference also called on African governments to expand broadband penetration across the continent, by making internet access a fundamental right of citizens.
The COVID-19 global impact research was conducted by young people under the Youth-As-Researchers (YAR) initiative of UNESCO.