TV Replaces Teachers for African Children Amid Coronavirus Restrictions


The covid-19 pandemic has, at a greater length, affected a more significant part of our lifestyles as human beings. Minimum interaction has had to be enforced to reduce the spread of the virus. As a result, this has seen many countries’ education system taking substantial measures to protect the future generation. Schools, ranging from kindergarten to colleges and universities, have been shut for fear of coronavirus spread. Now teachers, as well as students, are relying on online learning sessions to continue with their studies. But African children are overly affected.

No internet for African children

Most parents, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, cannot afford to provide their children with gadgets for online studies. It is already hard enough for them to put food on the table during this pandemic, let alone purchase laptops, tablets, or smartphones for their children. However, most homes have seen to it that at the very least they can afford TVs in their homes.

Furthermore, purchasing these gadgets will also require them to buy data for them actually to access the online classes. A luxury they cannot afford for their children. Nonetheless, all hope is not lost. The televisions happen to be enough for these children to access education. Various learning programs have currently been incorporated to serve as a learning spot for children.

Educative TV programs

A good example is the popular TV show for young kids in the East African region known as Ubongo. This Swahili word means brain. I would say it is a good choice for the name as the show has dedicated its resources to facilitate brain development ventures for children. The show was made available for free by the Tanzanian non-profit organization in the year 2014. It is children friendly as its designed mode of delivery is in the form of cartoons.

According to Iman Lipumba, the head of communications at Ubongo, they have reached 17 million households in 20 countries as of August. He further affirms that the pandemic has steered them to expansion and growth. Parents also get to chip in and supervise these learning sessions as they get to spend more time understanding their children.

Hope for teachers

Despite the new integrated mechanisms for learning for students being helpful, most parents agree that it is incomparable to getting to class. Governments are being very cautious before giving the go-ahead to re-open schools. Attending schools in most countries has been rescheduled up to next year. Meanwhile, we hope for the virus to ebb away to give back our teachers the roles.






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