The covid-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to every aspect of life. We had everything well cut out for us and we were kind of automated in the way we did things. Then Covid pandemic hit without warning. And with a snap of a figure, we learned that life could come to a complete halt. All facets of life as we know then can stall. With this learning, what then? How do we conduct our training going forward? How do we build skills?
For learning to continue, we learned we need to change our mindset, learn, unlearn, re-learn, and completely delve into a little-known world of online learning. At least some semblance of learning took place in basic education through mindset webinars and virtual conferencing, Zoom, Webex, Google classrooms, and the like. But how effective was this? A story for another day. At least for those something happened.
Shifting gears, for those out of school who had no access to any form of learning what became of them? In most post-school Institutions except perhaps the universities, nothing happened. Learning ceased with the closure of learning Institutions in March of 2020; this lot was lost. Borrowing from what happened in basic education, some learning could still have continued with this group. It is time that learning was reorganized to continue under whatever circumstances even such times as happened during the pandemic. Let’s rethink, not just for those attending formal education in structured environments but also for those who can access learning remotely.
It is possible to have participants attend classes remotely with those attending physically. All we need to do is invest in basic infrastructures such as screens, cameras, and mics in the physical class so that those in other locations can log in and attend the same class. This will not only readily access education and training to all, but also decongest our classrooms and the cost is minimal. Coupled with this, we can also include blended learning where some courses can be accessed online without attending physical classes and others can be attended in person, especially the practical, hands-on-oriented courses. This can also encourage shift classes for practical-oriented programs where the resources are scarce meaning only a limited number of learners can be enrolled at a given time. Why not try out this solution with a few institutions and expand enrolment. This approach could be a good way of expanding and extending training and skills acquisition to all irrespective of whether they are formally enrolled in an Institution or not. The skills acquired here would help ease unemployment issues as these graduates would fend for themselves. Food for thought….