The education system has seen a gradual change throughout the course of history and generally has handled it well. The global pandemic is the first and the only case where the whole education system experienced a quick and drastic change. The COVID-19 pandemic started near the end of December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The virus is the same type of virus that causes the common cold, but it is stronger and more heat resistant. The virus takes almost 16 days to show its first symptoms, so it quickly spread via international flights from China to the rest of the world. Countries all around the world started issuing lockdowns, and corporate culture and education had to restructure their ways of work. The virus had its first confirmed case in Africa on 14th February 2020 in Egypt. By 13th May 2020, every African country was infected with the virus. The education system in Kenya was also heavily affected by the virus, since the country started a lockdown in March of 2020, and closed its schools and offices. The lockdowns around the world would go on for many months owing to the lack of suitable vaccines for the disease and the time required for research.
As many surveys since then have proven, students feel uneasy in the pandemic when their education is considered. About 55 per cent of students are concerned with a lack of social connection with respect to online classes. It has been reported that 45 per cent of students felt uncertain about the test results when conducted online. 12 per cent of students reported network problems during online classes. The education system in Kenya has also had to rely on online learning for their student’s education because of the severity of the situation. Kenya also has a lot of remote places with low network connectivity, so it has certainly been difficult for the country.
The covid-19 pandemic has affected the system of education in different ways. It has closed the traditional approach to learning. It has forced schools, colleges, and universities to adopt newer methods of teaching. It has made students and teachers learn about online education and adapt to it. The biggest effect it has had on the education system in Kenya is that it has shown the advantages and disadvantages of online learning to the public eye. Online learning has many advantages since it offers globalization of education. The students have access to an infinite amount of resources and the schedules become more flexible. The online system also can help students make meetings with experts and learn from them directly.
Some Major Drawbacks of Online Education system in Kenya
Although online learning has turned out to be a boon in the time of the pandemic, it has its drawbacks. The drawbacks of online education are the ones that hold students and teachers back from performing well. Following are some of the major drawbacks of online learning systems.
The main drawback of online learning in the education system of Kenya is internet connectivity issues. Online education can only be completely functional when there is seamless information transfer between faculty and students. This cannot happen in remote places or in rural areas, where network connectivity is limited. The students and teachers should have effective access to the internet for online learning. By the effective contribution between the people, government and telecommunication industries the situation can be improved.
Lack of Resources and Technological Integration
Some families of Kenya do not have access to the technology required to sustain online learning. This can become a major problem of the education system in Kenya if not handled correctly. The families and staff must be given enough equipment and adequate training for online learning to succeed. The equipment must be maintained and checked often. This is one of the problems in online learning. Every person in the system should have access to the tools required in the online system. Moreover, everyone must invest enough time to learn about what types of equipment are used and how to fix them if they start behaving less than expected.
Community Interest and Attitude
Many student and teacher interests may not align completely with the online education system. Some students find it as a great opportunity to learn along with family members and some teachers are more than willing to try out online teaching. But some other students may lose their motivation to study. Some teachers and staff may be averse to new technology and be sceptical of trying them. Neglecting this causes the system to fail even if adequate resources are provided to the schools. Such attitudes must be checked by peers and people should adapt to the highly advantageous online learning approach.
Lack of Group Activity with online education system in Kenya
The online education system can certainly bring back many things in the traditional learning experience. But group activity is one of those things that it cannot bring to the school system as before. Some group activity has certainly come online, but an activity like sports, functions at schools and fests cannot be completely translated online. It is one of the irreversible major drawbacks of online learning. The people and schools must work together to find creative ways to engage in socially meaningful group activities again. By integrating enough group activities students are better prepared for real-world scenarios.
The global pandemic has affected the education system in great ways. The effects have been both positive and negative, with the positive effects being the adaptation to modern education technology. With online learning, students can safely learn from the comfort of their house and are not exposed to the virus. JibuSMS is an all in one school management system that has the best-integrated plugins to study online. It provides its own remote video streaming plugins. It also has features that help administration lessen their work greatly and both students and teachers can benefit from using it. JibuSMS has been used across Kenya and has provided its services to many of its schools.