Africa has a large amount of young and ambitious potential learners who are nevertheless facing some barriers to acquiring traditional learning. Blended learning schools emphasize the delivery of content through digital tools and combining some face to face learning with online learning. Blended learning could have addressed the educational backlog that Africa is facing due to the pandemic.
Africa is still lagging due to a lot of issues that have been ignored over the years and can be addressed now for a better future. The number of computers in some schools is insufficient, yet computer sharing decreases the level of engagement for a student.
Students who do not own personal devices are having difficulties accessing notes and engaging in online discussions. The primary issue is people do not have access to the internet at home. These are some of the reasons why some lecturers and students are failing to adapt to distance learning during this pandemic.
Why shift to blended learning? Blended learning encourages students to participate more actively in the learning process. The use of technology should extend beyond campus. Distance learning promotes cross-national, multidisciplinary perspective in educational practice and equips students, faculties and administrators with resources to compete in the academic world.
E-learning is the solution for students who are denied admission due to the limited space and resources to learn. Education should be a right and not a privilege so online classes should be affordable so online students can get full modules for programmes at a reduced cost.
However, not all courses can be done through e-learning; thus, the need to blend the face to face approach and technology; some courses require labs and specialist equipment. Campus-based students can use technology to catch up on things they miss in class, but they should still attend lectures and seminars.
Blended learning also allows lecturers to organize and manage their problems instead of running to make copies of books or papers they can focus on teaching and distribute a soft copy online. Blended learning would have prepared students to self guide themselves and learn in the comfort of their homes during this lockdown.
Africa is highly internet literate more than 60% of its citizens own a mobile phone, but some can not afford data. Therefore students need free internet access to educational support materials for blended learning to be successful.
Due to the pandemic students have to focus on what can be learnt online and will have to do the practical exercises when the pandemic is over. Universities should have hubs where students and lecturers can access several systems.
Blended learning improves school emergency, readiness and preparedness so that learning continues in any cases of any emergency; therefore, Africa has to embrace it for a better educational system.