Higher education in Africa will be forever changed due to lockdowns that resulted from the spread of coronavirus. Universities are now more open to digital migration, and infrastructure set during the pandemic will be used long after coronavirus is dealt with.
The global spread of coronavirus has exposed a lack of preparedness in many institutions and countries. Overwhelmed hospitals, governments caught flat-footed, and higher education institutions failing to deliver a continuous mode of learning were some of the challenges exposed by the global spread of coronavirus.
The spread of coronavirus in Africa was slow and took months for the first case of coronavirus in Africa to be registered. Since then, it has spread to all countries in Africa, infecting more than 317,000 people and 8,354 fatalities.
To curb the spread of the virus, almost all African countries have implemented some form of restrictions and lockdowns. This meant that companies, schools, and higher education institutions were forced to shut down once the restrictions went into effect.
Impact on higher learning in Africa
For higher learning in Africa, the impact of coronavirus has reverberated across the entire region, with many institutions being caught flat-footed and having a hard time adapting to school shutdowns. When coronavirus hit Africa, schools had to stop face to face learning and look for alternatives to continue with their lessons.
The most preferred solution was online learning, which many higher learning institutions were unprepared for. Lack of resources, technological know-how and internet access resulted in a low turnout of students. Teachers also had a hard time migrating and integrating their lessons for their students.
Post pandemic reshaping
However, after months of struggling with the technology and coronavirus pandemic, the higher education in Africa is now reshaping to new realities and adapting technology as the primary method of learning. Universities have opted to adopt online learning and exams to ensure they keep every student safe amid the coronavirus.
These changes will persist post-pandemic and will change how higher education in Africa is run. Online learning will now be part of life in these institutions according to many reports from universities across the country. The infrastructure set up during the coronavirus pandemic has laid the foundation for many African universities to migrate to digital platforms and online learning.
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