Open Letter to Nigerian Telcos for Aid to Remote Learning for Nigerians

Open Letter to Nigerian Telcos for Aid to Remote Learning for Nigerians

A major fall out of the global lock down due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19 is that students across the world cannot study within classroom walls. This is not so much of a challenge in advanced countries like the US and most countries in Europe where remote learning has substituted traditional in-class learning since the beginning of this crisis. The contrast is the case in Africa, and especially, in Nigeria where the schools are close to in-person and other forms of learning. 

This does not have to be the case as with your help, we can solve this problem and get the Nigerian youths learning again using existing online platforms from the comforts of their homes. As students in an American University, we have free access to online learning platforms paid for by our University. 

Some of these platforms have become free to a global audience in response to this global pandemic. We can, with your help get some of these access to all homes in Nigeria as soon as possible. All we must do is provide unlimited access to these platforms that we have listed below.

  1. https://www.khanacademy.org/: free all-time on-line platform for learning math, science, engineering, economics, finance and arts. Covers elementary to college education.
  2. https://www.jove.com/: Acronym for “Journal of Visual Experimentation”. Provides free access for all science education videos until June 15 to assist with COVID-19. It covers research methods and experimental techniques from both the physical and life sciences with 13 sections covering: Biology, Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, Immunology and Infection, Medicine, Bioengineering, Engineering, Chemistry, Behavior, Environment, Biochemistry, Cancer Research, and Genetics.
  3. https://www.coursera.org/: Provides access to over 3,800 courses from leading universities and companies across the globe. Also provides free access till September 2020 because of COVID-19.
  4. https://www.codecademy.com/: teaches millions of learners web development, mobile development, and data science skills. Also offering 10,000 global scholarships due to COVID-19.

We laud the outstanding commitment of individuals and the organized private sector in this joint fight against this ravaging pandemic. It is a war that we must all join to fight and win while keeping a laser focus on our collective future as a nation. With this in mind, we see an urgent need to provide online solution to making educational materials accessible to a wide reach of Nigeria’s youthful population. 

Through a partnership of National Communications Commission and all telecommunication service providers in Nigeria, we can leverage on these opportunities and activate a mechanism by which students have unlimited access to these websites to aid their learning. By this we are simply making a request for telecom giants to make access to educational contents (videos, files, etc.) on selected online platforms free of charge in the duration of this forced shut down.

We hereby call on MTN Nigeria, Global Communications, 9Mobile, Airtel, Spectranet, Swift, Smile, Ntel and Mainone to please voluntarily step up in help for our nation by providing access to world class education to them from the comfort of their homes in this dire time of need. 

Together, we can set the stage for an unprecedented future for our great nation. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Written by;

  • Damilola Adeoye & Tunde Blessed Shonde,
  • Graduate Students & Teaching Assistants,
  • Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,
  • Florida States University,
  • Tallahassee, FL, USA.

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