ARE STUDENTS THE MOST AFFECTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC? : EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC ON EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
By Alkali Yar’adua Abraham
The novel Corona virus disease otherwise known as COVID-19, originated from the Hunan seafood market at Wuhan, China where bats, snakes, raccoon dogs, palm civets, and other animals are sold, and rapidly spread up to 109 countries around the world.
The Corona virus disease which was declared a pandemic on the 30th of January 2020 by the Director General of the world Health Organization (WHO) has had an adverse effect in different sectors of almost every country in the world.
The first case of the Corona Virus disease was declared in Nigeria on 27th February 2020 and has since then been followed by a dramatic increase in the number of infected cases in different States of the country and this has led to the shutdown of almost every sector of the country among which is one of the vital sectors – the Academic sector.
The federal government ordered all institutions from the primary to the tertiary levels to be shutdown due to the increasing number of infected covid-19 patients and as a means to also curb the spread of the virus from the month of March. The order given by the government included phases of Lockdown and the restrictions of movement which was to be adhered to on a strict basis and the government made sure that law enforcement officials were also involved in making sure the order was followed all across the nation.
The novel Corona virus (Covid-19) has had a really negative impact on the tertiary institutions in Nigeria by slowing down academic activities because schools have been closed in Nigeria for about six months since the 23rd March 2020, which means almost more than half of the year on the academic calendar of these institutions have been wasted and this closure of the universities has also made the students to be far behind academically and some of the institutions which were supposed to serve as leading research centres and facilities during these times for finding the vaccine of Coronavirus pandemic have not been serving that purpose.
This virus has really caused a setback in academics and has increased the number of years of the students in all these higher institutions, which is not good for the development of the country.
Most of the institutions that may have a hard time resuming are the public universities of the country because even before the pandemic the institutions did not really have the supposed infrastructure like Hostels, classrooms and Lecture theaters that will be enough in size and number to accommodate the students and as such most of the precautionary measures such as social distancing may not be observed and this alone can trigger another outburst of the coronavirus if the schools were to even be able to resume.
Another aspect the public universities will suffer most, like I stated earlier, is the Slowing down of academic activities because most of these public universities are already far behind compared to their private University counterparts and with the amount of time they have lost due to strike by academic unions, strike by student unions and other arms of these institutions and now the novel coronavirus, these institutions will be having a really hard time catching up.
Also Economically, the educational sector has also been one of the driving forces and most businesses depending on these schools have also been closed leaving the families of these people not being able to provide their basic needs and other important things.
The Corona virus has undoubtedly been an eye-opener for the government and citizens of every country of the world on the need to tackle issues such as quality health facilities, education,entrepreneurship, corruption and to be ready for any sort of shortcomings.