‘Pupils deserve free internet access for home learning’

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By Dapo Akinrefon

A leading techpreneur, Mr. Joel Popoola, has urged telecommunication operators in Nigeria to provide free internet access to aid virtual learning, as the coronavirus lockdown on schools persists.

In a statement, Popoola said it was the best period for telecom operators to make learning easy for indigent pupils by providing free internet access to learning resources.

Popoola, who said that coronavirus pandemic had forced schools, globally, to switch to online learning, lamented that millions of children in Nigeria have been left behind because they have no access to remote-learning.

He added that telecoms operators should urgently bridge the digital divide.

Popoola, who is the creator of the leading Digital Democracy Project – Rate Your Leader app, said: “No doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected all aspects of humanity.

“But it is disheartening that the educational system in Nigeria has been worst hit and children from poor families are bearing the brunt of what can be largely fixed.

“The pandemic is widening educational gaps and indigent students are now being disadvantaged. Wealthier Nigerian families have access to the internet, and schools in affluent areas enjoy a seamless right of entry to educational resources.

“On the contrary, we have millions of homes that can’t receive home lessons, teaching and follow the government’s learning portal because they don’t have means of purchasing data to access the internet.”


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