Covi-19 pandemic is a global pandemic that recently emerged from Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The pandemic has adversely affected nearly, if not all, sectors, including the health, business, political, and education sector in this case. This has led to higher education institutions like universities and colleges to forcefully shift from a face-to-face mode of learning to an online model. This paper focuses on discussing the perspectives associated with online education in relation to its challenges, benefits, and strategies in and after the course of the covid-19 pandemic in Namibia.
One of the benefits is that online education has led to excellent retention of academic information and takes less time than face-to-face education. Since most students in higher institutions are young men and women, online education has been a source of enjoyment. These young people are more attracted to using digital gadgets to access anything online, making it possible to retain the information they get from lectures for longer. Lectures have been taking their lecture sessions at the comfort of their offices and students from the comfort of their homes, making it a faster mode of learning.
Online education has made it possible to sustain skills development for higher institutions students despite school closures. On considering an alternative of no schooling, online education has been an important tool to deal with the pandemic case on the issue of education. Students and lecturers have adapted to the new technology on fostering and ensuring continuity of education in Namibia. This clearly explains the experience gained by both teachers and students in the learning institutions due to the practicing use of digital electronic devices to access the internet for online learning.
Online learning suits various varieties of learning styles that multiple students prefer. Since every student has a different learning style and learning duty, this mode of learning suited nearly all students as the learners could opt to read according to one’s preference. In addition, an online learning system has a range of resources and options and hence can be personalized in many ways (Yuhanna, Alexander & Kachik, 2020). This option makes this mode of learning to remain a better option even after the pandemic as it is a best way to create a perfect model of learning to the needs of every student.
The economic problem caused by the covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for most students to afford digital electric devices such as desktops, laptops, or even smartphones to help them access online classes. Financial difficulties is another challenge experienced by students, according to (Barrot, Llenares & del Rosario, 2021). This challenge has consequently affected their online studies experience as they lack funding from their parents. Unemployment has significantly impacted this challenge since many people lost their jobs due to the covid-19 pandemic. These challenges remain to be among the major challenges even after the pandemic, especially to the low-income families.
Pets and human intrusion is another challenge brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. Adedoyin (2020) argues that home pets during online learning education interfered with the learner’s attention; for example, a dog would bark, or a cat would move across the table, making the learner lose his/her focus on learning. This challenge remains a significant challenge even after the pandemic since homes are also the dwelling place for pets. On human intrusion, neither parents nor the learners were aware of the pandemic occurrence, and hence each of them was caught unprepared.
One of the strategies adopted by most institutions during the covid-19 pandemic was to take time for proper planning. This action led to a brief delay in starting online learning since the institution’s departments took some time to plan on it, as there was an uncertainty of such an occurrence of the pandemic. Other approaches included, providing clear expectations to both stakeholders of the higher institutions, including staff, parents, and students. Additionally, learners were allowed to do some practices on how to use various electronic gadgets, School administrations also ensured that the students had all that they needed to continue with their classes (Tarbiyah & Amrullah, 2021). These strategies are still applicable even after the pandemic.
On recommendations, online mode of education has been of great help to higher institution students as they have managed to proceed with their learning, ensuring no time wastage by staying at home. The government of Namibia needs to ensure that all institutions are fully equipped with necessities, such as desktops for use by the staff to enhance the continuity of online education even after the epidemic. Correspondingly, online education internet data should be accessible to all students to ensure they have access to their lectures.
Conclusively, learners have progressed in their studies despite the challenges brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. They have been able to complete their yesteryear’s units on time due to online education. This discussion has taught us that online education can still be implemented even after the pandemic to ease the mode of education to both teachers and students, as it is an efficient and reliable mode of education. When all the requirements are made available and easily accessible through the government’s help, the method becomes an efficient means of learning.
Adedoyin, O., & Soykan, E. (2020). Covid-19 pandemic and online learning: the challenges and opportunities. Interactive Learning Environments, 1-13. doi:10.1080/10494820.2020.1813180
Barrot, J., Llenares, I., & del Rosario, L. (2021). Students’ online learning challenges during the pandemic and how they cope with them: The case of the Philippines. Education and Information Technologies. doi:10.1007/s10639-021-10589-x
Tarbiyah, I., & Amrullah, M. (2021). Learning Strategies Online and Offline at SD Muhammadiyah 8 during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Proceedings Of The ICECRS, 10, 51-56. doi:10.21070/icecrs20211056
Yuhanna, I., Alexander, A., & Kachik, A. (2020). Advantages and disadvantages of Online Learning. Journal Educational Verkenning, 1(2), 13-19. doi:10.48173/jev.v1i2.54