During this period when learners are home, educators believe they have a lot more free time on their hands, which they can use for other activities, not just classwork.
Like classwork, there are online platforms that offer studies assistance with extracurricular activities.
This can be through reading, photography, music, drawing, singing, dancing, and sports among many others.
Stanley Mukasa, a Kigali-based educator, says with the abundance of time and online resources available, students can put the extra time to better use.
He says learners are encouraged to use online platforms for academic work, and also use this opportunity to nurture their skills.
Taking a productive break from studies will give the brain a boost, experts say. Net photo.
Mukasa adds that in doing so, learners will get a boost in co-curricular activities, making their class performance even better.
“If students take some time to learn what they love online, it gives them a sense of commitment to whatever they are involved in,” he says.
He explains that this is because it is easy to commit to doing what they love, and this commitment extends to all other areas of their lives.
Diana Nawatti, the head teacher at Mother Mary Complex School, says learning a new skill can help them cope with anxiety or distress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Practical ways to build their skills or learn something entirely different from are helpful to learners,” she says.
In addition, if a student wants to turn ideas into hobbies, or pick up a new hobby altogether, such lessons are a great way to start.
John Nzayisenga, Director of Kigali Harvest School, says that this can be a fun way for students to kill boredom and learn new skills and knowledge.
He says that there are limitless possibilities if students take up such activities.
“Additional skills will set students apart from others. Also, such skills can be applied in the future,” he says.
He adds that these lessons also create room to think outside the box and be innovative.
“It is a good way to keep students’ brains stimulated which is essential for every child,” he adds.
On the other hand, Mukasa says online short-term lessons keep students occupied in a good way, and their minds fresh. Instead of lounging at home with an idle mind, students should find productive things to do.
He says that those who love reading can take up courses or coaching online.
“This is the perfect time to set a reading timetable. It gives a productive break from academics. For parents looking to help their child form a habit of reading, now is the best time to do so,” he says.
Mukasa says there are online versions of most books available — students can enjoy their favourite books without the need to go to a bookstore.
Origene Igiraneza, a young education entrepreneur, says some academic institutions overlook or don’t put effort in things like public speaking, essay writing, financial literacy, to mention a few.
He says that although some schools try to, the practice is still very low.
“One of the ways to address this is by students, for instance, developing a virtual ecosystem that can help them interchange amongst themselves and learn from each other, also known as peer learning,” he says.
This, Igiraneza says, helps students to do more research on that the particular area, to help them get a clearer picture of what is required.
Aside from that, he says, it increases the level of interest when they engage with peers who share similar interests.Follow Lydia_AtienoM