The effects of Covid-19 on Etosha Secondary School

The learners of Etosha Secondary School are doing what they can to improve their nature of life despite the difficult circumstances.

06 October 2020 | Education

Matengu Makutela and Brand Richane

Around March this year, Namibia joined the list of countries with Covid-19 outbreaks. The pupils of Etosha Secondary School have taken it upon themselves to seek out the strawberries among a million lemons, as they are educated to "stand sentry" for themselves in times of trial and tribulation.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has had devastating effects on the world, with the education sector no exception.

Interruptions to education can lead to long-term implications, especially for the most susceptible. The virus has had a negative impact on scholars, as the majority of educational institutions in Namibia were closed under the state of emergency regulations.

With learners cooped up in their homes for months, the government had to come up with alternatives to face-to-face lectures.

The introduction of online learning has had its fair share of pros and cons. On the one hand, online education may have been time efficient, it also led to better retention, and some students considered it self-paced and student-centred. On the other hand, it has led to a disproportionate impact on poor students who do not have access to computers. Furthermore, it has led to more social isolation, it was difficult to prevent cheating in online assessments and learners' feedback was highly limited. Basically, online education has left poor children at a disadvantage.

The return of pupils to schools has led to the straining of students' mindsets, psychological health and thinking capabilities, as a large workload has been placed on the learners' shoulders. Students have speculated that teachers might be rushing to cover as much syllabus ground as possible, more so to feed learners with as much content as they can take, regardless of whether knowledge and understanding are fully grasped.

"This virus has affected all of us, but I feel as though teachers forcing work down our throats will lead to an inevitable decrease in academic performances," a young tenth grader shares.

All in all, students of Etosha Secondary School have accepted the current rules and regulations and adhere to each and every one of them, but not letting it stop them from making life better for themselves and the people around them.

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