FME and UBEC in collaboration with National and State governments will upload context-appropriate strategies and content for continuous learning that allow pupils, teachers, and schools to utilize flexible and remote/ home-based learning, which may include homework assignments, reading material, Radio, TV, online content, and internet-based learning. The webpage will be constantly updated for ongoing support through this crisis and beyond.

Membership of the Task Team: FME, UBEC, MDAs, and Development Partners. Technical support is provided to the Task Team by UNICEF

COVID-19: A huge Challenge with underlying opportunities for education provision

A very serious and debilitating development for the Education sector, the COVID-19 pandemic creates a complex mixture of threats and opportunities because it carries within it both a challenge and an opportunity to enhance access and strengthen quality through the deployment of e-learning solutions. It provides us an opportunity to utilize e-learning tools for reaching more children across the country in both urban and rural settings.

The increasing nature of the pandemic has led to the closure of schools nationwide, forcing children to go home to parents and communities, most of which are not equipped to play host to children outside of planned holidays. The present situation challenges the Education sector to devise a coordinated response through adequate planning and preparedness; ensuring strengthened resilience in the system at community level.

A Coordinated Response – FME and UBEC

The Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has developed a coordinated plan that saw the   establishment of a Task Team that has met severally to work out a Learn at Home Programme (LHP) that will ensure that children do not lose learning time. The Coordinated Response Task Team will:

i.  Create a communications channel with Honourable Commissioners of Education; SUBEB Chairs and Permanent Secretaries of SMoEs

ii.  Provide ongoing guidance through the established channels for the State hierarchy to reach down to the LGEAs through the Education     Secretaries.

iii.   Make available the online learning materials that have been provided by sources that the FME and UBEC have been offered.

Planning with Three Scenarios

The work of the Task Team is guided by three scenarios:

Scenario 1: Where schools are closed for one month – For this scenario, the one month will be regarded as the normal duration of        holidays requiring, however, that children are kept busy with homework and other support learning materials. Awareness about the virus and safe hygiene and sanitation practices are encouraged.

Scenario 2: Schools are closed for one to three months. In this case, more sustainable strategies will be launched to support ongoing learning through online, audiovisual methods;

Scenario 3: Where schools are closed for an extended period of more than three months: At this point Initiate a structured approach to encourage digitization of curricula, development of radio, TV or self-learning instructional materials based on the national curriculum; FME, UBEC, and others through communities and parents will be re-oriented to available resources to support more long-term solutions; Engage with government and National Exams Councils to decide on adjustments and communication on exams schedules; Support clear communication with teachers, parents on continuity of learning and on exam schedules.

Why the Coordinated Response

The time is now more than any other for the FME and UBEC to provide a synergized leadership based on their mandates. This will enable the education sector to support States and communities who must now play host to children for at least one month without being initially prepared for this. In a country as wide and disperse as ours, the structured guidance will ensure that all 36 states and FCT are reached with the same information which they can implement at their level, still in line with the national framework. Parents and host communities (especially in rural areas) may not be able to provide adequate support for learning if not well equipped to do so. Education response must be drilled down and coordinated to the LGEA level to ensure that all children receive support during this period. The Task Team recognizes the importance of providing leadership across the three tiers of government to ensure that activities of children during this period are guided, tracked, and managed as a continuing learning point after the crisis.

Information Notes, Contingency Plans, Learning Resources