"There's a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strenght.'
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster" - Dalai Lama XIV
Since the 23rd of March 2020, schools across Nigeria have been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, as part one of the many ways to curb the spread. Thus leaving millions of Nigerian students stuck at home. Parents now have to plan their days around their children and also balance working from home. Trying to conduct a business meeting with the kids running around can be a difficult feat.
Even though exams in Nigeria have been postponed until further notice e.g WEAC, the knowledge acquired during the school year should not be allowed to slip away. You or your kids will need it again for future exams.
As at the time of this publication, no one has an idea of how long the confinement will last. We have no idea when schools will be reopened by the FG, all we can do is to closely follow the updates on this. Some schools have resorted to online classes, while some are yet to. You might be thinking, what other resources are available online to further your learning?
Available Apps for Online Lessons During the lockdown
The educational resources that we are highlighting are to be used in addition to school lessons given by any school, we know an app can't replace your school schedule.
Revising with an app makes learning more fun, is varying and spices up the routine of studying at home which can be tiring after a while for students. Fun educational apps are available for all levels of students, even nursery school students provided you can lend them your mobile devices for a few minutes, in the event they don't have a kiddies tablet.
Maths lessons, English lessons, or language lessons using an app is much more fun for students and many of these apps are completely free,
Apps for Nursery students
Warning: for toddlers, screen times are to be limited to 15-20 minutes on a phone or a tablet, as prolonged exposure to a screen is not good for their brain development.
Numberland is a free interactive app for kids between the ages of 3 and 5 years old which helps them in learning numbers and discourages them to be passive like they might be in front of cartoons.
The app enables kids to learn how to write numbers from 0 to 9 and is developed per the Montessori method. Ensure to assist your child during the exercises.
To learn letters, Lola Alphabet Train app is a great app to consider. It is for children between ages 3 to 7. Your child learns the letters of the Alphabet and an animated fun train registers their progress as implied in its name. It enables them to gradually learn to read words. They can even learn foreign languages, as the alphabets of 5 different languages are included. Always be involved and never leave them alone with the screen.
Learning Apps for Primary School Students
For Primary school kids, we recommend Sight Word Superhero. It is an interactive and entertaining app aimed at helping children learn how to read and sight words. The learning experience can be personalised to suit your child in areas and words they need to improve on.
In terms of Maths, DragonBox Big Numbers is an exciting and funfilled way to learn maths outside the usual school classes. It enables the kids to learn about subtraction, addition and discover large numbers.
Educational Apps for Secondary School Students
At this age, a good number of students should be more than acquainted with working with technology. This does not mean they should spend prolong time on the screen! paperwork should be encouraged when possible and it is recommended that screen time when using apps be limited to 30 to 45 minutes a day as not to tire them or yourself out.
World Geography Quiz Game is an app that's great for students offering geography. For students preparing for WASSCE and JAMB (UTME), the apps help to extend your knowledge by including several subjects to aid you in your preparation.
Students using the app are asked about the population, to pick flags, locate capitals, the official language, currency, religion, presidents, fertility rate, life expectancy e.t.c of different countries around the world. The more you progress, the more the difficulty level increases.
If you are aiming to revise a foreign language, there are so many apps to assist you with this. Memrise, Mosa Lingu and DuoLingo are applications that enable you to learn for a long duration, which significantly improves your language skills. Univoice is another app to consider. It is an interactive app that makes use of music to help you learn. Slangs, Vocabulary and long term retention are prioritized by fun repetition.
Websites that offer Online Lessons
Ensure to keep control of the well being of your child and their development by limiting screen time. It is easy to be consumed by screens during this lockdown.
Educational Websites for Primary Schools Students in Nigeria
Below are a few websites offering online learning and tools for your youngsters.
Oxford Owl is a completely free service that utilizes the British Curriculum like most top schools in Nigeria. It is kind of an automated private tutor that is loaded with tons of informational material that aids academic performance. It also offers great advice to parents and over 200 free ebooks targetted at kids between 3-11 years. Perhaps, enough to last the confinement?
Highlight Kids is a website that enables children to explore their creativity without any hindrance and brings out hidden talents that would amaze you. Riddles, questions, brainteasers, puzzles are used to develop their reasoning and thinking skills.
Funbrain is another free education Website with great resources. It is not just for kids. Adults and children alike can make use of it. It uses hundreds of educational games and activities to provide great educational resources.
Educational Websites for Secondary School Students in Nigeria
Students at this stage need special and advanced support websites to help them improve their skills in some subjects and also to revise.
Pass.ng is one of the oldest and recommended educational websites in Nigeria. It is a website that enables students to practice CBT (computer-based test) and is very popular with secondary school students. Some of it's featured test are JAMB, WEAC, POST UTME, NECO, NCEE, Aptitude test and lots more. It also enables you to practice tests without the internet, which is very useful in our country, where data prices are quite high and internet connection can be very sketchy.
Khan Academy is another website probably best used to introduce, practice, and review subject contents. Though math is the most comprehensively covered subject, science, history, economics and various other subjects are also available for students who seek it. The website makes uses of features like videos, pictures, progress tracking, practise exercises and lots more.
Perhaps, you might be interested in personalized support from tutors you can put a face on and prefer to have the choice of selecting the tutor you want, do not hesitate to head to Superprof's Nigeria website to search for a tutor. It has over twenty thousand local Nigerian tutors and has a community of over 11 million tutors and students worldwide. 98% of teachers offer their first lessons for free and there's a tutor to suit every budget. Presently, access to the site is free and you can contact as many tutors as you want.