In 2020, the world had to learn to work from home. Across Africa, in various sectors, people have had to surmount learning curves and adjust to a way of life many thought to be years in the future. At Tech Cabal we wanted to show Africans thriving as they work remotely. So, from online therapy to ‘WhatsApp High School’, here are stories of Africans living in the new normal.

Our first story in this series is from Ijeoma*, a teacher living and working in Lagos, Nigeria.

I’m a fine arts teacher in a public school in Lagos and I’ve been teaching for more than 20 years. The pandemic changed a lot of things for me and teachers like me.

One day we are teaching students with a chalkboard just like we’ve done for years and the next thing you know the students can’t come to class and we have to learn new ways to teach.

Ijeoma (Nigeria)

With the pandemic came lockdowns in several countries. Schools were faced with the difficult task of finding new ways to learn.

While some schools made a relatively smooth transition to online learning, some public schools in Nigeria did not have the infrastructure for that.

The government tried to make sure we learned to work remotely so they created profiles for us on Microsoft Teams. On there, we had channels where we were taught how to use the software. The plan was to be able to learn and then teach our students there.

While some of the teachers could afford laptops and good enough smartphones to follow this training, our students couldn’t.

Ijeoma (Nigeria)

Despite well-meaning plans by the government to create a platform for learning, the situation became a stark reminder of the claim that you cannot tech your way out of bad infrastructure.

Students who were not tech-enabled were now expected to join online classes and submit assignments that would require personal computers.

We’ve had to start doing our lessons on WhatsApp – and even then we are only able to access a small fraction of our students who have parents that will allow them to have control of their phones for hours.

Ijeoma (Nigeria)

Public school students in Lagos are now using WhatsApp to keep up with their studies. In this post from June, Abubakar explored how higher institutions in Nigeria have continued to learn in the midst of the pandemic.

To help students who don’t have access to smartphones all the time, my son showed me how to screen record on my phone and record my voice as well. I upload these videos to the WhatsApp groups so that the students can watch later and learn.

Ijeoma (Nigeria)

*Ijeoma is a pseudonym.

Editor’s note: We would like to hear more of your stories, so please fill this form and let us know your experience with tech in the new normal.

Read this next

My Life In Tech is putting human faces to some of the innovative startups, investments and policy formations driving the technology sector across Africa. Karen Adie’s approach to leadership is one I haven’t come across expressed in many of the profiles I’ve written in this series. It’s like a dance, constantly changing each day to fit […]

More From TC

Social media giant, Twitter is setting up its first African office and it will be in Ghana. The announcement was made through a tweet by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey where he thanked the president of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo. The tweet also included a link to a post on Twitter’s official blog written by Kayvon Beykpour, […]

The directive of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued on the 8th of April, 2021 has been met with consternation and a straightforward (but hopefully simplistic) interpretation that the government is out to stifle innovators – again. These perspectives aren’t unfounded, as innovators of all shades have taken a heavy beating lately due […]

Last week, Ampersand, Africa’s first electric motorcycle company, secured a $3.5 million investment from the Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF). This is the largest ever e-mobility investment by a venture capital fund in Sub-Saharan Africa and could hint at a turning point in African electric transport. Based in Kigali, Rwanda, Ampersand assembles and finances electric motorcycles […]

TechCabal is a Big Cabal Media brand

Copyright © 2013 - 2021
All rights reserved

Privacy & Terms