By Nefishetu Yakubu
Edo Government says it has targeted 500, 000 pupils for online learning programme in public and private schools in the state.
The government said it had concluded plans to begin the programme code named: EdoBEST@home online lessons programme, to mitigate the effect of school closure occasioned COVID-19 pandemic..
Dr Joan Oviawe, the Executive Chairman of State Universal Basic Board (SUBEB), told newsmen in Benin that the programme was designed to connect the pupils and students to studies as COVID-19 pandemic lasted.
“EdoBEST@home content will be accessible via phone, free SUBEB website, radio, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
“All of the components of EdoBEST@Home will provide core support to all pupils and students, including children with special needs.
“The programme has also been designed to provide audio lesson via radio for students who are vision impaired or blind. So this makes the content available for pupils with special needs.
“In addition, for those that are hearing-impaired, the digital self-study activity packets, mobile interactive quizzes, digital story books and more are also included to support them.
“For those that are mobility-impaired, all of these tools will be available from their home; so they can access them without challenge.
“EdoBEST@home programme has been designed with multiple channels in order to maximise how many pupils can access the content. This includes pupils in low-end private schools.
“Even families with feature phones or radio will be able to participate in EdoBEST@home programme,” she said.
Oviawe noted that teachers would be trained and guided on how to interact with their pupils in virtual classrooms.
She further explained that EdoBEST@home would enable the teachers interact directly with pupils through virtual classrooms, referencing the interactive audio lessons, daily self study packets and more.
The executive chairman said the programme would also help maintain the relationship between teachers and their pupils while the pandemic lasted.
According to her, EdoBEST@home content will be accessible via free radio programming, zero rated data access to the SUBEB websites, feature phones without the need for data, smartphones, WhatsApp and other social media.
The chairman added that pupils who did not have access to a feature phone or radio would be given printed materials to study.