COVID-19 AND VIRTUAL LEARNING ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in human history, affecting almost every learner especially those in secondary schools all over the world. Closures of schools, institutions and other learning spaces have impacted more than 94% of the world’s student population. This has brought far-reaching changes in all aspects of our lives. Social distancing and restrictive movement policies have significantly disturbed traditional educational practices. Reopening of schools after relaxation of restriction is another challenge with many new standard operating procedures put in place. Within a short span of the COVID-19 pandemic, many researchers have shared their works on teaching and learning in different ways. Several schools, colleges and universities have discontinued face-to-face teachings geared by the fear of losing 2020 academic year or even more in the coming future. The need of the hour is to innovate and implement alternative educational system and assessment strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to pave the way for introducing digital learning in order to bridge the gap in learning thus the birth of virtual learning.
Virtual learning is a type of learning that happens outside the classroom, with digital-based equipment and the learner’s autonomy guaranteed.Invariably the learner does not have face-face contact with either the teacher or peers. Coronavirus (CoV) is a large family of viruses known to cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory tract infection. The severity of the infection may be visible as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, and even death. Until the outbreak of SARS, this group of viruses was greatly overlooked. However, since the SARS and MERS outbreaks, these viruses have been studied in greater detail, propelling the vaccine research.
The World Health Organization (WHO), in December 2019, received reports on clusters of pneumonia cases of unknown causes in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The Chinese authorities subsequently identified a novel strain of Coronavirus (SARS-COV 2) as the causative agent. Sequel to the advice of the International Health Regulation Emergency Committee, the Director-General of the WHO declared the COVID19 outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and characterized it as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The outbreak has been reported in all continents, with first case in Africa reported in Egypt in February 2020. Globally, over 2.6 million confirmed cases and over 186,000 deaths have been recorded. Nigeria is one of the 210 countries affected globally.
The first case of Corona Virus in Nigeria was confirmed in Lagos State on 27 February 2020. This index case was a 44-year old man, an Italian citizen who returned from Milan, Italy, on 24 February and presented at a health facility on 26 February 2020 (punchnewsonline.org) Following the confirmation of the index case, 216 people were identified as contacts to be followed up. Of these, 45 travelled out of Nigeria and one of the remaining 176 contacts was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 on 9 March 2020. The country has continued to experience an increase in the number of cases, which has spread across several states. While majority of the initial cases were imported, most of the new cases have no travel history or contact with such people.
After Nigeria witnessed her first case, it was pertinent for Nigeria government to give quick attention to situation. The closure of schools, colleges, and universities by the Federal and State government was an urgent need of the current situation which prevailed in most States in Nigeria. Nigerian Government started taking preventive decisions on COVID-19 just after WHO recognized it as a pandemic disease. However, the shutdown of most schools and colleges in Lagos, Kano FCT and other states, had a tremendous effect on the academic syllabus and interrupted the academic year. Most schools had to concentrate on scheduling their final exams before the lockdown commencement on March 8, 2020. Affected schools and institutions had to cancel or reschedule exam dates, and other school activities, so as to curtail the spread of the virus.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The educational sector has witnessed a new exploration geared by the fast changing society. This is to enable them meet up with the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic which has shook the crannies of the world and every aspect of the economy. The education sector has move from the conventional classroom teaching to virtual learning to bridge the gap created by the Covid-19 Pandemic which affected the academic year.
Although this innovation is quiet impressive but has it limitations as most parents are not able to afford it for their children which impedes their academic performance. Also the inability of many schools to follow this trend by developing virtual learning packages which would enhance the knowledge of their student makes it more frictional in obtaining quality academic performance of student. Hence, this study seek to examine the effect of Covid-19 and Virtual learning on academic performance of student
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is focused on three main fold:
1. To examine the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on Education.
2. To examine the impact of virtual learning on academic performance.
3. To determine the extent to which Covid-19 and Virtual Learning has impacted students’ academic performance.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This study in its significance will reveal the effect of covid-19 on academic performance of secondary school student. It would expose how far and well virtual learning have been imbibed and accepted by secondary school student. it will enlighten the teachers on the need of stepping up their professional skills in order to adapt to this fast changing terrain in education. It will awaken the awareness of school owners on the way forward to ensure that during this pandemic they come up with strategies to enhance the effective use of virtual learning as a tool for instruction in schools.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study examines the impact of Covid-19 and Virtual Learning on Academic Performance of Secondary school student using GreenSprings School, Victoria Island, Lagos as a case study.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Does Covid-19 have any effect on the academic performance of secondary school student?
2. How does virtual learning affect academic performance of secondary school student?
3. To what extent does Covid -19 and Virtual learning impact the academic performance of secondary school student?
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: Covid-19 and Virtual learning does not have any positive significant impact on academic performance of student
H1: Covid-19 and Virtual learning has a significant positive impact on academic performance of student
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
During the course of the study challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following numerous. These are:
Inadequate finance: the research was face with problem of inadequate fund which hinder the researcher from shuttering to Access Banks within Lagos more so in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time: time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in large more representative skill.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Effect: According to Collins dictionary, an effect is a change, reaction, or impression that is caused by something or is the result of something
COVID-19: Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel corona virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-CoV), which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
VIRTUAL LEARNING: Virtual learning is a learning experience that is enhanced through utilizing computers and/or the internet both outside and inside the facilities of the educational organization or conventional classroom setting. The teaching activities are carried out online whereby the teacher and learners are physically separated (in terms of place, time, or both).
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Academic performance have been defined and explained by several authors. According to Narad and Abdullah (2016) academic performance is the knowledge gained which is assessed by marks by a teacher and/or educational goals set by students and teachers to be achieved over a specific period of time.
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