Covid-19: How students are spending the ‘holiday’

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Millions of students in tertiary institutions are back home,  following the government’s directive that all schools should shut down for a month, in the light of the coronavirus outbreak. To compound issues, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) began an indefinite strike a few weeks ago.

These have left students with no choice than to either sleep or add values to their lives while the twin situations play out. However, some students have lined up activities that will make them be productively engaged during the period. 

How should the legions of students in tertiary institutions nationwide who are back home in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak be productively engaged?

Covid-19, which has been a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is ravaging the world, shutting down economies and disrupting social life. The last couple of weeks have seen Nigeria wear a different look – from anxiety, foreboding, disquiet to apprehension.

As of today Thurs April 2nd, 2020, the number of Nigerians testing positive stood at 174, with fears that it might shoot up in the coming days.

Covid-19: How students are spending ‘holiday’

Against this backdrop, the Federal Government ordered schools nationwide to shut down for at least a month as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus.

The scenario was further compounded when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which had earlier embarked upon a two-week strike over disagreements with the government, began an indefinite strike.

Given the scenario, students share their views on how they intend to handle the stay-at-home order.

Adedolapo Oladipo, an HND 1 Mass Communication student of the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), intends to study and grow her baking business.

“During this one month break off academic activities, I’ll be home studying. I’m also a baker, and I’ll be plying my trade in order to grow my business. Ever since I’ve resumed, I  haven’t had time to bake and this has made my business dwindle,“ she said.

Oriku Esther, HND1 Mass Communication of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), said she would channel her attention to her hairdressing business.

Her words: “I will just concentrate on my salon. I will use this time to improve myself more and gather more customers.”

However, it is a different matter for Adeniji Nathaniel, a 100-Level Electrical and Electronics Engineering student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Nathaniel said the break would afford him the opportunity to prepare adequately ahead for the remainder of the semester which he predicts would be ‘hellish’ as the lecturers would swarm them with activities.

“We are just finishing the first half of the semester and it hasn’t been easy. So the one month break would be a chance to address part of my academics that I have issues with and prepare for the hell that the break will bring with it. Once we resume, lecturers approach toward teaching us will be intense due to the time-frame they will need to cover up before exams,” he said.

Interestingly, Omolade Ayantola, a final year Biochemistry from the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and another student who identified himself as Sulaimon from MAPOLY, are ready to take on the digital platforms during the break.

ALSO READ: Ayodeji Osowobi: Coronavirus isn’t death sentence… I survived it and have been discharged

Omolade said: “I will like to focus on being financially free by giving myself to online service marketing.

“I  have already created a WhatsApp group to teach some students photography via internship and mentorship. I also added some professionals to teach them on some topics.

“I’ll also try and improve on my leadership skills, and read ahead of the class because, once we resume, it might be exam right away. Most importantly, I’ll try and educate children, friends, neighbours, and families on what COVID-19 is, giving them the information that I read from the WHO website,”  added Sulaimon.

Also Speaking, Idayat Amoo, an ND I student of Mass Communication at YABATECH, said she would conduct a research, complete all assignments given to them in school, and be a part of the online class that is being organized by her department.

“For the holiday period, an online lecture is being organised by my department to educate us more on our courses for the rest of the semester. I also intend to conduct a research on assignments and projects given by our lecturers as they would help me more in my field of study,” Amoo said.

Like Amooo, Temiloluwa Akubor, another 100-Level student of Philosophy of OOU, said she would be using the one month break to think more creatively and conduct researches.

Similarly, a 100-Level student of Theatre Arts at the University of Benin, Osato Sunday, said she intended to combine studies and business.

Muhammad Auwal, a second-year Mass Communication undergraduate of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, is hoping to improve himself as a writer.

Auwal expressed fear that the one month break might be extended owing to ASUU strike and the unresolved IPPIS.

“Even when there is no ASUU strike, it will be hard for our lessons to go online, not to talk of now that the strike prevails.

“As a student journalist, I will have time to write more for newspapers, I can also work from home.

Auwal continued: “We may stay longer at home, even if coronavirus break ends, ASUU issue should also be resolved. I’ll pray more and repent. This coronavirus is a test from God based on the sins man has committed.”

However, a student entrepreneur, Shopein Deborah, an HND2 student of Mass Communication of MAPOLY, plans to be more engaged with her studies and bead works.

Miss Obuwe Edith, who studies Office and Technology Management, at the Delta State Polytechnic Ozoro, described the holiday as timely.

She said:  “We were supposed to start our exams on Monday, but we have been asked to go home because of the coronavirus pandemic. That means exam commences anytime we resume. Though many students have gone home, I decided to stay back in Delta State because I think this is a safer place to stay as there is no case of coronavirus here.

“I’m going to use this holiday period as an opportunity to study hard and prepare for my examination. This is because during this period, there will be little or no distraction as most students have travelled, so the environment will be very conducive to read.

ALSO READ: Dr. Alfa Sa’adu Dies Of Coronavirus In the UK

Munachi Eze, a 300-Level Economics undergraduate of Abia State University (ABSU), also corroborated Obuwe.

“We were just about to write our exams before the break, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I will use this opportunity to read and prepare for my exams. In addition, I will also learn extra skills, either make-up or something else within this one month period,” she said.

Obuwe’s schoolmate Ruth Okoro is also staying back in school because Rivers State where she hailed from has halted interstate movements.

“Nobody has access to travel in or out of Rivers State for now. So, I am trapped here since I don’t have anywhere to go. I have stocked up my room with foodstuff, provision and other things in order to keep myself indoors. Also, I am planning to learn one of these online businesses so it can keep me busy and also earn me some income while reading for my exam at home,” said the HND 2 student of Business Administration and Management.

Justice Ogbe Godwin, a second year Mechanical Engineering undergraduate of UNILAG, promised to leverage on the break to study more, while perfecting his skill in art.

“I am a talented artist. I do still life drawing and even imaginary pictures. My academics has never given me the chance to focus on my talent or skill, now I have the time and chance to learn more and also generate money for myself by offering my services to people,” he said.

Though not yet a graduate, Aniefion Ekoiso, a final year student of Radiography of UNILAG, intended to offer his service free to government as a means of assisting victims of Covid-19.

“As a medical student, i spend just two out of seven days in the hospital on a regular season. However, considering the times we are in, many medical personnel are needed at the moment. Hence, I am going to be spending more days at the hospital, helping, learning and getting more experience in my field,” Ekioso said.

We are going to sleep

While the aforementioned students would be shifting their focus to their businesses, crafts and studies during this break, some students feel the break is an opportunity to take time off and relax.

A 100-Level student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Lagos (UNILAG) who craved anonymity, said he would use the pressure to relax considering how school activities had taken a toll on him.

“I’ll definitely get rest because school has taken a lot out of me,” he said.

The source has allies in Elizabethe Onalapo a medical student from Olabisi Onabanjo University and Eboda Eyitayo, a 100-Level student of UNILAG. The duo told CAMPUSLIFE the break would afford them to sleep, play games, and eat.

Apt period to add value to yourself, Career expert says

A career expert who doubles as a youth advocate, Tolulope Makinde, has advised students to see this period as an opportunity to add values that would make them better students when schools resume.

Said Makinde: “Education is continuous, schooling happens within the walls of schools but education is everywhere.  Even if you stop schooling, you don’t have to stop education.

He continued: “One problem I have come to notice is that many young people are yet to discover themselves; that is the reason many youths after graduation are always confused as to what they want to do with their lives. If you don’t try things out, you don’t learn more.  If you don’t conduct research, you won’t know where you fit in.

“I would like these young ones to know that the market of this 21st century has moved from merely being certificated to ‘what can you’; as in your competency. That is why you see a lot of graduates go back to learn some skills after their graduation because the market is now skill-based.

ALSO READ: The Coronavirus: What Scientists Have Learned So Far

“So instead of them watching unnecessary videos, involving in unnecessary chatting on the internet, they should use their time to make use of the internet and not make the internet make use of them,” he said.

“So students should rather see this break as an opportunity to learn more skills as many as they can. Yes! They might be at home due to conditions of the break, but still they could leverage on the internet by taking free courses.

“We have many of them on youtube. Many of these courses are free while in some cases, students can do the course free and pay for the certificate later.”

Adapt to the situation, it is just temporary, lecturer urges

Meanwhile Dr Ade Adegbami, a lecturer in the Department of Public Administration, OOU, is admonishing the students to see the one-month break as a means of opening opportunities.

Odegbami said students should see this period as a very fertile one to evaluate their academic performances while setting targets for better performances when schools eventually reopen.

According to Adegbami, students should use this period to lift some financial responsibilities off their parents by raising money before resumption.

He said, “It is unfortunate that most of the students nowadays are indolent academically. Many of them are preoccupied with frivolity. They are attached to music, football and other social media activities.

“There are a lot of ways in which students can maximise their holiday period. Any serious student who is aspiring to achieve academic excellence should reflect on the previous semester, assess his or her past performances while setting goals or targets for the coming semester.

“A serious student should inspire to learn new things, new skills, or even go ahead to take a short term online courses in journalism, photography, film making, tailoring, and hair dressing.

“He or she can use the time to improve on his or her writing skills and vocabulary development. It is a time to pick a new hobby, google names of their lecturers and read some of their published works, publish educational videos, youtube and documentaries.

“It is a time to assist your parents to raise money before resumption.”

Credit: thenationonlineng.net


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Chila Andrew Aondofa

Founder/Team lead at TheAbusite.com | Abusite | Entrepreneur | Activist | Humanitarian | All Inquiries to info@theabusites.com. SMS/WhatsApp +2349015751816

Chila Andrew Aondofa has 634 posts and counting. See all posts by Chila Andrew Aondofa

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