The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a paradigm shift from the traditional face to face teaching to e-learning in educational institutions. In order to curb the spread of the pandemic, restrictions were put in place including shutting down of schools and compelling learners to learn online. However, this shift encountered some challenges as it had not been planned for nor experienced in most institutions even though learners and teachers had access to laptops, smart phones and personal computers for accessing websites and social media platforms. It is against this background that this study sought to gain insight into how two schools from different responsible authorities coped with the challenges encountered when using e-learning as an alternative pedagogical approach during the Covid-19 pandemic. The sample comprised of 20 learners and 8 teachers who were selected through simple random and purposive sampling techniques respectively. This study used a qualitative research approach. Personal interviews with teachers and semi-structured questionnaires administered to learners were used to gather qualitative data whose analysis was based on the themes: level of preparedness of the two schools for e-learning adoption during the Covid-19 pandemic, strategies used to cope with the challenges of the e-learning approach during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of e-learning on both teachers and learners. The findings indicated that pre-practicing of e-learning before the Covid-19 led to less challenges for the private school. Its teachers and learners were motivated and appreciated e-learning. Contrary, the less privileged public-school teachers and learners faced challenges. Hence, were demotivated and worried about the potential of e-learning. The study concluded that resource mobilisation and preparedness are a pre-requisite for successful e-learning. Inadequacies of resources demotivated both teachers and learners leading to dissatisfaction with e-learning. Conversely, the well-resourced schools’ uptake of e-learning was commendable. It is therefore recommended that a universal access to internet be implemented through setting up of Wi-Fi hotspots by the government. Teachers should be provided with tablets or laptops. Most importantly, e-learning should be an integral part of daily teaching and learning.
Keywords: Covid-19, e-learning; pedagogical approach, public secondary schools, teaching and learning, private school
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