The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic created a huge vacuum in education system across the world. This development caused nations temporary closure of educational institutions around the globe in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. Students and teachers are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic.
Most governments turned to technology seeking alternative means of providing education to students through online learning applications in order not to disrupt learning while staying at home. Teachers can use virtual classrooms to teach from home with all necessary tools at their disposal.
As a fast approach taken by the Nigerian government to ensure that Nigerian students remain in classroom during this period is the introduction of free access to Mobile Classroom App, Nigeria’s first indigenous Mobile Application designed by Save-A-Lot Limited, as one of the portals that can be accessed free.
Mobile Classroom App, in conjunction with Federal Ministry of Education gave Nigerian students free access to audio-visual tutorials through devices like phones and computers without subscription for the period of suspension of academic activities in schools nationwide.
During the announcement in Abuja recently, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said all students in Nigeria have been granted free access to www.mobileclassroom.com.ng.
He said: “This e-learning platform has been declared subscription free for Nigerian students in primary and secondary levels during the period of COVID-19 pandemic. Existing users of Telecom providers can log in and enjoy free access to the portal.”
The Minister mentioned that, ”The timetables for the online classes in the 36 states of the country are available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education. Parents, guardians and the students can check the timetable for each state on the website.”
In his reaction, the Chief Executive Officer of Save-A-Lot Limited, Mr. Akeem Salami, said, “Mobile Classroom online portal has been declared free without subscription for Nigerian students throughout this period of nationwide school closure by the Federal Government. To us, Mobile Classroom will be a great learning hub for millions of Nigerian students, particularly those who will soon sit for their senior secondary school examinations organised by the West African Examination Council (WAEC)”.
He explained that the subscription-free mobile classroom offer is easy to be part of; “Students are to register to log-in by downloading Mobile Classroom App from Google Play Store using their mobile phones. For those who prefer laptops, they can go through the registration process logging-in through the website. All participants are to sign-in with their functional email addresses and choice passwords. Students can then access lectures on any topic and subject of their choice and enjoy different lectures in the comfort of their homes”.
Salami added that the company has also introduced a monthly quiz of cash scholarship to students on the platform as incentive to mobilise more students to embrace Mobile Classroom App.
He counseled students to stay away from crowded gatherings to avoid the risk of possible infection of the spread of the virus.
“We are making an effort to reach out to all state ministry of education to communicate this opportunity to their respective students in the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government in its effort is collaborating with all the network providers in the country to grant the students free access to the portal on their mobile phones.
The online learning is being coordinated by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in conjunction with the States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs).