Editorial - E-learning: A necessity for stable educational system beyond COVID-19 pandemic

Oyediran Wasiu Oyeleke


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented and enormous disruption to all spheres of human endeavours including the world education system. It is on record that nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all conti­nents are seriously affected (United Nations, 2020). The lockdown and school closures preventive policy have affected 94 percent of the students’ population globally and caused setbacks for up to 99 percent of students in developing countries (UN, 2020). Thus, the closure of schools has had substantial effects on education, and it will continue to have effects on other sectors apart from education. For instance, the closure of schools has hindered the provision of essen­tial services to households, societies, and the country at large. Children were denied access to quality food; many parents could not go to their workplace; girls and women were exposed to incessant domestic violence.

To overcome the disruption of the educational system and ensure that learning continues despite the school closures suddenly becomes a top agendum of every govern­ment throughout the world, many of which turned to e-learning which necessitates teachers to move to online deliv­ery of lectures. The term e-learning stands for electronic learning system in which learning takes place through a computer interface. It is a technology-driven education system. It is the total incorporation of ICT into the learning environment. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures, online learning is web-based e-learning most often used by distance education institutions and higher institutions. It is cheap, saves time, and has wider coverage, and as well promoting team learning and collaboration.

Unfortunately, in developing countries, poor electricity supply and technology infrastructure deficit is the major bane to e-learning adoption. Consequently, the implementation of e-learning becomes moribund and ends up as a just pronouncement. Additionally, teachers were largely unpre­pared to support continuous learning through the electronic teaching methodologies while digital liter­acy is at low ebb for the parents and students. In such a case, the human aspect of digitization is holding back the full integration of e-learning into the educational system. While subscription for data is a burden for students in the cities, access to the internet is a serious problem for those in remote areas. Likewise, the objective of e-learning as a new paradigm to serve as a development platform for a present-day society based on knowledge looks like a mirage.

It is therefore suggested that every section of the educational system should key into the digital learning process as a way of moving fast in this technological age. It is also imperative to stabilize the power supply and provide adequate technology infrastructure in developing countries, this will have multiply effects on the overall development of the educational sector in the region. E-learning should be all-inclusive to encourage parents’ and guardians’ participation in their wards’ education progress. Implementation of these suggestions by the government, school authorities, and other stakeholders becomes very important at this critical period when global education is in dire need of sustainable educational development. Education is the catalyst of every development and is considered a fundamental human right. It is an enabling right with a direct impact on the realization of all other human rights.

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United Nations, (2020). Policy brief: Education during COVID-19 and beyond. August, 2020. 26p.

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