The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to the world. It has also posed a major disruption to economic activities and various sectors across the world.
Its compounding effects, especially in the education sector pose unique and significant challenges, particularly on the African continent where education is key to development.
According to UNESCO, over 1.5 billion learners have been affected worldwide.
The majority of these students are enrolled in primary schools and secondary schools where the pandemic has brought about an unprecedented shutdown of schools and universities.
Given the situation, it is unclear how long schools will be closed. Time missed from school, regardless of how short, will have an impact on the learning curve and skill development. If students are out of school for so long, this could have a negative impact on future economic growth.
Free Online Class
It was on this note that Vine Christian High School, a leading private Christian based high school in Accra partnered with Old Mutual to provide free online lessons to more than 250 students from all regions in the country as their contribution and support to students in Ghana whose studies have been affected.
The free online learning initiative was embraced by many parents who needed this intervention.
Vine Christian High received applications from parents whose wards were enrolled in over 150 schools across the country including Alysd Academy, Akosombo International School, Archfield School, Armed Forces, Beacon College International School, Bishop Bowers, Cejose International, De-youngster International School, Ghana Christian High School, SOS-Hermann Gmeiner School, East Airport International School among others.
The online class was offered to students in Grade 7 and 8, and JHS 1 and JHS 2 for both Cambridge and GES models respectively. 48% of the students who benefited were females, with about 87% of the students on the GES model. About 25% of the students had special learning needs and accommodations were made where necessary as an institution committed to providing quality education for all.
Structure of Online Class
The lessons were delivered through a virtual classroom by highly skilled teachers from Vine Christian High. It focused on major subjects including Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, English, ICT, Geography, French, Physics & Global Perspectives.
With an emphasis on providing student-centred and coordinated lessons, the end of the 6 weeks class was greeted with an overwhelming applause and commendation from parents and students who experienced the class and with over 35% wishing the class to continue.
Even one of the students from Darah Christian School in Kumasi described the online class as the best class ever.
Indeed, Vine Christian High School maintained its reputation of leading 21st-century education using digital tools. About 95% of the students enrolled testified that their expectations were met.
“I expected the class to be boring and old fashioned, but it was not boring at all. It was very fun and a practical way of learning”, as one of the students from British International School narrated.
A parent decided to share his appreciation publicly on social media in honor of the outstanding initiative by Vine Christian High School and Old Mutual. In his own words;
After the class, feedback received from participants indicated that more than 78% mentioned they will be willing to join its third term online school because of the high quality of teaching, friendly teachers, practical lessons, engaging class, and attention given to every student. 100% of the students who participated in the survey mentioned that they had seen a significant improvement in their knowledge, and they understood things better.
The online lessons ended with an online ceremony which gave the opportunity to parents and students to share their feedback and celebrate the success of the class. One of the forthcoming suggestions the administration received was to increase the class hours for more engagement. It is clear that Vine Christian High School is a unique Christian school that emulates excellence and a high concern for humanity.