500-level Medicine & Surgery
University of Ibadan
Studying professional health courses in Nigeria has always been demanding and unbelievably hectic, even before virtual learning tools and platforms became popular. Sequel to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, Nigerian medical schools resorted to using virtual teaching platforms and tools. You can imagine how new terrain like this would influence medical education and the quality of healthcare professionals being produced from these medical schools. However, let us hear from the horses’ mouths before we conclude.
500-level medical student, University of Ilorin
“We did our Paediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynaecology posting via virtual learning platforms and we did these postings without any form of clinical exposure! We used Google Meet and Zoom but there have been no assessments after these postings. The major complaints about virtual learning are excessive data consumption and endless network issues. The only virtual learning benefits I have enjoyed is comfort. I get to make myself as comfortable as possible and I can also eat during class but I am absolutely ready to resume physically. Airtel network has not been very helpful during this time. If network connections were better and data cheaper, virtual learning could be more bearable.”
500-level dental student, University of Ibadan
“We made use of virtual learning tools during Anaesthesia, ENT, and Dentistry postings but there were clinical activities at all. Zoom is our major learning platform and we had a couple of assessments. I’d rather not disclose whether I made use of my books during these tests. Network issues and short attention span are some of the drawbacks of virtual learning and I would really like to resume as soon as possible. I don’t think there are any benefits of virtual learning and thanks to 9mobile and MTN, I can’t use the platforms optimally. Classes need to be better scheduled and I need good network to be able to learn properly”.
600-level medical student, University of Ilorin
“I have done Medicine, ENT, Ophthalmology, Anaesthesia, and Radiology postings virtually and my colleagues and I were exposed to clinical activities. Zoom has been the major learning platform but we were not assessed after these postings. Poor network issues and being unable to pay attention during lectures are some of the issues I have faced during this period. I would really like to resume now but I think virtual learning reduces the chances of getting infected with COVID-19 and it allows you to receive lectures from the comfort of your home. MTN and Glo are responsible for my network issues and they can do better”.
300-level medical student, University of Port Harcourt
“So far, I have done Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology virtually without any exposure to practicals or clinical activities. We use Zoom and Google Meet as the main learning platforms but the different interruptions I encounter when I am in class make it hard to learn properly. I think virtual learning is not appropriate for Nigerian students and incessant network issues from MTN and the likes make it difficult. I do not think there are any benefits of virtual learning and I would like to resume as soon as possible”.
500-level medical student, University of Lagos
“The only posting I have done virtually is Ophthalmology and my colleagues and I participated in virtual clinical activities via Zoom. There have been no assessments and I always face network issues while in class. I think it’s time we resumed school even though virtual learning is good because you can learn from the comfort of home. The only thing that could make learning better now is getting unlimited data for free”.
100-level medical student, Ekiti State University
“We have been receiving Biology lectures online but there have been no practical sessions. We use Google Meet as our learning platform and we have done some tests. I had to use my books during these tests because topics are not well explained during classes. I would love to resume as soon as possible because I don’t think virtual learning is beneficial in any way and thanks to MTN, the network issues make learning almost impossible. We need practical sessions to learn these courses properly but I don’t know how they can be done virtually”.
It is quite evident now that this mode of training is not ideal for medical students, considering the numerous limitations and shortcomings of the system. From lectures without practical sessions or clinical activities to incessant interruptions during lectures, virtual learning is doing anything but enhancing medical education and training. It is either we find an alternative or do virtual learning the RIGHT way!
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