With the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world, many sectors have been affected heavily by this and the experts say that there might be a huge recession afterwards, might be true or not but I do say that one thing has come out of the pandemic benefiting the Motswana student or rather the future of the Motswana student.
With the Covid-19 hitting Botswana and with 22 cases and a death recently, not much is being said about the education of Batswana, now I do believe that the covid-19 has had an impact on the education system delivery, with many still seeing it as something else.
1. Firstly, some schools have taken to the internet to deliver education to the pupils and thus has shown innovation, from using portals and Moodle’s accessibility to deliver and share notes with their students. We turn our attention to other platforms like Zoom which allows multiple video conferences in which students can still resume classes with their teachers and all within the comfort of their homes, schools have also taken to WhatsApp, creating WhatsApp groups where they can discuss, one particular school I know which does this is Gaborone University College of law and professional studies, the lecturers of one faculty have taken to WhatsApp to deliver content with the students, not only sharing notes with them, they do have actual discussions on the platform and share opinions there, this has however shown the evolution of the education delivery there, despite the pandemic, delivery is still being made.
2. Turning our attention to Moodle, this is a fairly new concept to me, I have never heard about it before until my school decided to tell us about it, though steps behind, it is still a good initiative taken by the school(S) to deliver education to the students, looking at other platforms and not only focusing on tertiary education here, there are some institutions such as Crackit which have shown a great evolution towards delivery, Crackit is a tutoring tuition for primary, secondary and senior schools education. They have online tutoring services now or it has been, but now they are using the platform to make sure that their students get education in the comfort of their homes. Tertiary institutions are where we turn to for innovations and they have a responsibility to be the leading innovators, and right now they should come up with more and easier ways of delivering the education to its students, schools such as Botho University and Arthur Portland have been giving it’s students tablets to help them in terms of education, and those are the schools which focus mostly on delivery via online, with that, other schools could copy this strategy to make sure that their future students have quality education, Botho University being one school to give to all it’s students, and it has two branches, it does not focus on the costs, but rather the delivery and has it’s students interest at heart, this is the most necessary quality of a school. Another school has been in talks with one of the network providers in Botswana to give its students 1GB data so that they can access the online platforms for their learning, GUC has sent the Student Body Representative to get student information so that they can be given this data, this is a good move because it ensures that most of it’s students will be able to access the platforms that they use to deliver education, being Moodle and WhatsApp, and not forgetting google classroom and emailing of the assignments. With some of these schools already having these measures in place, it is safe to say that there is still more and more ground to break if we’re going to make it through this covid-19 with bearable wounds.
3. Some school levels like primary and secondary have a bigger problem right now, and I am talking about government schools, the government should seek a way in which to make this available to it’s students, not everyone is capable of affording a tutoring services, education is a basic human right and thus it should be provided to everyone without fail, if the government could invest in E-learning and deliver education to the people in that manner, in any future endeavours which may cause a lockdown like this one, first of it’s kind in Botswana, the education sector would not have been hit this hard as it is, and because of this, the school terms have been disrupted and have a higher possibility of not receiving any new students next year if the lockdown persists until May 2020, it will have officially changed the course of the school year in Botswana.
I still believe in the ability of our people to keep on finding ways to bridge the gap between them and first world country’s education, and the very first one is service delivery, in this case education, with the covid-19 not showing and hope of clearing out anytime soon, we can say that it is time that we turn to the internet, to deliver education to our people via the internet. My goal as LeNoir Foundation's Botswana's ambassador is to use this particular problem as a stepping stone to build on, and achieve the goal we have set for ourselves, to provide world class education to our people.