Post-secondary life post Covid-19 |17 May 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought upon our country abrupt changes to the many sectors of our economy as well as our education system. With the rise of active cases in the country, schools have been closed for face to face teaching the second time.
To have a better understanding of how post-secondary students, in particular, are adjusting to the new normal student life, Seychelles NATION got the perspective of students from the different post-secondary institutions.
“Since March last year various forms of online lectures were established, the most dominant ones being lecturers sending presentations and documents, written communication using chats and google classroom as well as the use of audio recordings. Adjusting was challenging, having to study from home required greater self discipline and motivation since concentrating on studying in a family setting is demanding. Moreover, continued online presence as well as more challenging teacher-student interactions brought more challenges.
One of my major fears during that period of time was whether I would have been able to adequately prepare for my exams in November and cover all the required objectives of the syllabus. Fortunately the exams were postponed to this year October/November giving my peers and I ample time to study. Though PowerPoints, lectures, and documents are helpful in a way, they do not perfectly grasp the concept of the materials they teach.
“A lecturer can perhaps make the student appreciate these mechanisms by thoroughly explaining them, with the aid of visuals, following that animations are very helpful since they show how mechanisms work in real time.
“The pandemic has been one of extraordinary times and we have had to rapidly change and adapt to the evolving situation. Amidst all this I have learnt to appreciate life and look at the brighter side of all things.” – Christine Lungu, Seychelles Advanced Level Studies.
“As an STA student, starting school during this pandemic was not easy at first but after the first lockdown I started to adapt to the new normal especially when they made changes to our time table organising the days we go to school to limit the number of students on campus at a time. Adjusting has been getting better but although we prioritize our studies on practicals we should also remember that we have to do theory classes as well.
“The biggest challenge with online classes is that the due dates for assignments are relatively close to the time they are given to us, this puts a lot of pressure on us students.” – Aneel Banane, Seychelles Tourism Academy.
“Since the semi lockdown was put into place the teachers have been sending a significantly large amount of assignments with really short due dates without any proper explanations. This is because the school operates mostly on independent learning but it has been difficult for us new students, many of whom are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and discouraged, because we have no idea how to go about doing the tasks we are assigned.
“I feel that there is a lack of communication among the teachers. They send us overwhelming amounts of work, without realising we are being given the same from teachers of our other subjects.” – First year student of Seychelles Maritime Academy.
“As a second year social work student at the National Institute of Health and Social Studies, I find that studying online during the pandemic is not as bad as I expected. My lecturers try their best to provide clear explanations and I find it easier to learn online, seeing as I'm not distracted by other students, it is easy to disregard their comments online and focus on what the teacher has sent. It's all at our disposal.
“What I find difficult is going back to face to face learning. This is mainly because when everyone gets together, the energy is greater and overwhelming. But so far I am satisfied with how online learning is going, except for the difficulties we face in accessing resources such as textbooks.” –Leanne Appoo, National Institute of Health and Social Studies.
“The new normal way of teaching is different but manageable, some modules are harder to understand since I am not hearing the teacher explain the concepts and theories, which is really important as I am doing a national diploma in information system engineering. Our assignments are usually sent to us via email, and if we have any queries we ask our teachers and this is going smooth enough.
“Since I do not fully understand the modules and I am sure many of my peers are facing the same issue, the school can perhaps provide videos for better understanding, which I find really efficient, but only some of my teachers are doing.” – Melody Ah-Time, Seychelles Institute of Technology.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has made a huge impact on the way we used to learn and with online classes it was a bit difficult at first but gradually I got used to it. The lecturers also are putting the extra effort to help the learners during this time, and for that I am very thankful.
“Before I was not ready for any exams or assessments with this new type of learning but now I can honestly say I am.” – Ellisha Bristol, Seychelles Business Studies Academy.
It is clear from the answers that the pandemic has started an evolution in the world of education. Our students, teachers and schools must do their absolute best to adequately and efficiently use all resources available for the inevitable adaptation to school-life post Covid-19.