COVID -19 Pandemic and Neo-liberal University: Implications and Challenges for Platform Pedagogy in Nigeria (Published)
As countries all over the world continue to grapple with devastating impacts and experience of COVID-19 Pandemic, even with the current variants of the disease, all aspects of livelihood and socio-economic activities of the people are affected. Even as countries reintroduced lockdown and other risk-mitigating measures, post-pandemic measures continue to impact on lives of the people. In the ensuing context, world of work and work activities, both at formal and informal levels are affected. Teaching and learning, and other academic work in the universities system are also affected. For the universities’ systems, work activities such as teaching, learning and conduct of other academic work are increasingly being “redirected” and “pivoted” on digital technology. While some semblance of on-line academic work may have been introduced, broadly, in the management of higher education before now, sufficient and deliberate institutional policy frameworks are just evolving in the universities in Nigeria to support digital learning. As the current situations of “migration” to on-line academic works are largely characterized with “panicky measures” amidst the pandemic, necessities for digital skills, improved infrastructure, and equity access are equally needed to impact on Higher Education policy frameworks. However, this remains a challenge in contemporary management of universities systems in Nigeria. This paper critically explores the implications and challenges of on- line learning and teaching in the universities. It is argued that the emblematic character and dimensions of neo-liberal policy framing, generally, further make sustainable migration to on-line academic work problematic in the universities. In utilizing Gramsci’s hegemonic analysis, it is further demonstrated in the paper that, as part of emblematic character of digital technology, as influenced by neo-liberal policy framing, there has been a phenomenal rise in digital inequalities, broadly; limiting equal access to digital technology and higher education in Nigeria.