The Federal Government has launched free e-learning portals for all students in primary and secondary schools following the closure of schools nationwide to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said this on Friday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The federal government in March ordered the closure of all schools across the country to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
The minister said all students in Nigeria have now been granted free access to the follow e-learning portals: schoolgate.ng and mobileclassroom.com.ng.
“These e-learning platforms have been declared subscription free for Nigerian students in primary and secondary levels during the period of this lockdown as necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic. Existing users of Airtel can start immediately while other telecoms institutions will be ready soon,” he said.
He said 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.”
Meanwhile, Mr Nwajiuba said the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Education, is collaborating with network providers to grant the students free access to the portals on their mobile phones.
He said the online learning is being coordinated by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in conjunction with the States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs).
According to the minister, the current challenge necessitated the need to explore other avenues to deliver lessons to students.
He also quoted the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu as saying “Airtel Nigeria network users could already browse this e-learning platforms for free.”
“Other telecom service providers like MTN, Glo, and 9mobile are currently making a technical adjustment to their systems to accommodate this free access. This is the provision we have already made in relation to how you can access these platforms,” he said.
He said online classes are the same as off-line classes, and “you can download them and keep and learn them at your pace.”
“Online can be real-time if you are on the same wave and time when it is being taught.”
Mr Nwajiuba, last week, had said 15 states had already commenced electronic learning for pupils on their local television and radio channels following the stay-at-home orders of the federal and some state governments.
He appealed to parents to cooperate with the government to ensure that their children were available to learn at the designated hours and channels.
“About 15 states have already commenced learning via different channels that are available in their states, mostly local TV and radio,” he said.