If you have been a student before or you’re still a student, then you understand that school (tertiary) is stressful.
Assignments, presentation, mid semester exams, project works, supervisor issues – the list is endless.
For most people, the four/three-year journey or from freshman to finally wearing the graduation gown is a long journey filled with its own mental health moments.
And now, you have to throw dealing with coronavirus and a complete 180 degrees turn on the mode of teaching and studying on top of it.
Besides the emotional stress that coronavirus pandemic brings, students are having to deal with a completely different teaching and learning environment which they didn’t sign up for.
Since the government closed down all schools in March, most universities quickly moved their classes online.
Most of them had not prepared the students for what to expect, even some of the lecturers were not conversant with some of the online teaching platforms.
Google Classroom and Zoom were mostly used by the universities, such as the Ghana Institute of Journalism, who did not take time to build a safe virtual learning platform.
Moreover, some of the schools did not make provision for internet data for their students, which meant those who couldn’t afford the data charges would miss class.
In a survey conducted by Keel Peeps, 29 out of 37 respondents identified poor data connection and high charges as one of their three biggest challenges when it came to studying online.
“My network providers are not giving me the best of their services,” one of the respondents said.
Another worrying trend is the actual teaching and learning. Most of the respondents say the online platforms seem cluttered and some are unable to pay attention and even ask questions.
“I just log onto the platform during lessons and type “I’m here” to register then i’m off again,” another student said.
Also, taking quizzes on the online platforms have also become a challenge.
Another student also said “the use of LMS (an online platform) to learn and write exams” is one of the biggest challenges.
These exams are going to be part of their final end of semester assessment which will also determine their GPA.
In many ways, though it seems encouraging that schools are having online lectures, the seeming lack of planning has put many students at a disadvantage.
These students are being punished for no fault of theirs.