The Nigerian Federal Government has launched online learning portals for all students in primary and secondary schools following the closure of schools nationwide to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who announced this on Friday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said all students in Nigeria have been granted free access to following e-learning portals; the schoolgate.ng and the mobileclassroom.com.ng App.
“These e-learning platforms have been declared subscription free for Nigerian students in primary and secondary levels during the period of this lockdown as necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Mobile Classroom is an indigenous mobile application that enables students to learn audio-visually through devices like phones and computers.
It had earlier offered all Nigerian students free access to its online portal without subscription for the period of suspension of academic activities in schools nationwide.
The minister said the timetable for online classes in all the states of the federation that have keyed into the programme have been provided in the platforms and could also be accessed at the Federal Ministry of Education website.
Nwajiuba said the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, is collaborating with telecommunication sectors and network providers to grant the students free access to the portals on their mobile phones.
He added that the online learning is being coordinated by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in conjunction with the States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs).
It would be recalled that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government announced the nationwide closure of all educational institutions as part of measures to curtail its spread in the country.
According to the minister, this necessitated the need to explore other avenues to deliver lessons to students.
He added that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu had also disclosed that Airtel Nigeria network users could already browse this e-learning platforms for free while other telecom service providers like MTN, Glo, and 9mobile are currently making technical adjustment to their systems to accommodate this free access.
“This is provision we have already made this in relation to how you can access these platforms,” he said.
On the question of how these classes are conducted, he explained that online classes are the same as off-line classes, saying “you can download them and keep and learn them at your pace.
“Online can be real time if you are on the same wave and time when it is being taught.”
Earlier, state governments across the country introduced a variety of educational television and radio programmes for students to learn during this period.