I work with learners of all ages and sometimes when you want to make an assessment of a decision taken for the learner, you ask the learner themselves.
Ask them simple questions like, what did you study today? Have you read a book today? What about the lessons on TV, do you like them? You are bound to get some insight into how they are fairing and what needs to be improved or removed. Has anyone bothered to ask learners if this is really working?
Educational media is a strong tool whose teaching and learning compliments traditional approaches to learning. It engages learners or students and aids retention of knowledge. However you must bear in mind that for most learners, teachers and parents, this was a new venture.
This project is difficult to implement especially for lower primary pupils, who have never experienced audio-visual learning at an earlier stage.The positive results are bound to be minimal.
Attention span/ learning pace
We live in a visual world, and for pupils/students today, the concentration span during a lesson is more likely to be lower than when this same pupil/student, is watching the Thundermans’ on nickelodeon or a soap/series for the older students. I talked to a colleague at work who is a parent to both O and A level students. I asked if they were watching any of TV lessons.
He said one of the students was very interested and wouldn’t miss a lesson while he had to plead with the other. The latter has no interest in television and has no capacity to sit and listen to a radio, besides his lessons are scheduled for the afternoon when he is out playing football with his friends.
The times allotted for these lessons on the different radio/TV stations were dictated by the stations regardless of the child’s capacity to grasp chemistry at 4pm.
The ministry assumed that learners would grasp at their own pace which is a good idea however, learning pace is mired by a few hiccups like failure to complete homework, concentration span, and the TV is needed by many others, lack of no on-spot challenge from the teacher who may also not be appealing to the student , no follow through by many parents who in this season have other concerns or who do not have these gadgets and who cannot access material from districts.
There are those among us who have taken these lessons seriously. Take for instance the parents who ensure that their children attend the TV/radio lessons and also work on t he packages sent by school making sure to send the work back to the schools for assessment and record keeping. Then there are those who have for one reason or another not been very vigilant about the who studying from home initiative.
This means that when schools eventually open, there will be two kinds of learners, those who continued learning and those whose learning ended the day schools were locked down. I wonder how this will be dealt with?
Media as an instrument for education can only be effective if ICT/ Visual/audio learning is given a foundation at the earlier stages of learning because this medium entails concentration, discipline and interest on the side of the learner.
The teacher or tutor with a few illustrations staged straight out of a classroom in his school, who talks hurriedly and does not own his lesson or his studio as a class because he was not trained on how to operate in this kind of environment becomes a personality chosen to do a duty, but without presentation and passion.