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News from PPRE / Oldenburg University

How I spent my COVID-19 lockdown

Ms. Obiakor Chioma from Nigeria (PPRE 2018) is reporting about how she made use of the lockdown due to Covid-19 by providing an online lecture course in `Basic Python for Data Analysis' for students in need back home in Nigeria.


by Obiakor Chioma (PPRE 2018)


COVID-19 is taking its toll on the world, causing deaths, illnesses, panic, economic despair and greatly affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of schools, universities and colleges. This has impacted greatly on the students, teachers, families and societies at large, changing everyone’s lifestyle and handicapped a greater population, as everyone were all urged to stay home for safety purposes. People who never knew what being idle felt like suddenly are faced with a new way of living, this was not an easy adjustment especially for our active youths and students. Nigerian alone has about 1.9m university students (National University Council, 2017) who were highly affected by these especially as online lectures are not fully implemented in Nigerian schools, the students were mostly at home, living off the pressure and panic of the pandemic.


With duty to humanity and to contribute in relieving some of these pressures and keep the active minds busy, a "Free Online Basic Python for Data Analysis" lecture was organised for students who had no access to schools due to the lock down.


The training was done via Skype, every 8pm to 10pm (WAT) on Wednesdays and Fridays weekly, for 5weeks starting from 8th April 2020 to 8th May 2020. 150 students and graduates registered for the program, 30 of them showed up in the class out of which 12 students were consistent till the end of the class. The deviation in number could be attributed to power and data cost issues, as received from the feedback of the students who could not participate actively.  Hence the recordings of these lectures were made available to them, to download at their convenience and study at their pace and ask questions if they have any in the Skype chat and I attend to them.


Programming is a skill of high demand especially in our dynamic data driven world of today. energy, business, health, and almost all spheres of life depends greatly on data for knowledge, information towards developing optimal and efficient systems. And thanks to PPRE and DAAD, I was opportune to learn and am still learning the wonderful art of programming. I combined this knowledge gained from my python class in PPRE with more research to prepare for each lecture.


The training was a huge success, as the students who benefitted sent in their heartfelt thanks and testimonials, expressing how this knowledge will assist them in their different endeavours and areas of expertise. It was a great, fulfilling and an enlightening experience for me to know that you can assist even in the most unconventional way.


Lessons learnt:

  • I learnt that we always have something we can share with others, because that which seem little to you, might be the golden egg for another. You don’t need to have it all before giving.
  • I also learnt that teaching is one way to internalise and deepen your knowledge. You only get better by sharing, the more I taught, the better my understanding of python and their challenging questions made me research deeper, thereby deepening my knowledge.


So, lets always share and assist one another especially in this trial times of COVID-19, reach out, check up on others and do the little you can. Be today that story you will love to tell tomorrow.


I wish to greatly thank PPRE and DAAD for this wonderful opportunity they have given me, to gain quality knowledge to impart into others, am ever grateful. And thanks to my students who had confidence in me, I appreciate you too.


Be safe, sanitize your hands, maintain your social distance, stay home if unwell and Follow the directions of your local health authority. We are responsible for each other’s safety. Together we shall fight this pandemic. This too shall pass.


Some Testimonials of the students:

  1. From Nero Obroh

Dear Chioma,

My name is Nero, one of the participants at the just concluded python class. Before I begin, I wish to apologize for the late feedback. Thank you for your Understanding.

Before now, I always thought that python was a complicated programming language. You made it simple, concise and very clear. I was amazed at your discipline and consistency; There was never a day that you were not present in class minutes before the actual time. How you managed the time properly and succeed in impacting the knowledge to people of different professional background and level of understanding amidst your tight schedule still beats my imagination.

Your patience and understanding are phenomenal. At all times, you were concerned about the proper understanding of all your participants. You were also ready to attend to people after class (I am a living testimony). In you is a confirmation that there are indeed Angels on earth. Most importantly, you painstakingly prepared the course material and offering the knowledge totally free, at no cost. Such a rare kind gesture. I am thankful to God to have met a person like you. You changed my perspective about several things. I am highly motivated by your personality. Be rest assured that I would be available for testimonials if the need arises. I am perpetually grateful. Thank you once again. Please stay safe.

Kind regards,



  1. From Oveka Obroh:

Dear Chioma, 


I hope this mail meets you well. I am writing to thank you and acknowledge the awesome work you did during the COVID 19 online Phyton class organized by you.


It has been a great joy to have participated in this class as I have found further python study easy to understand as well as writing executable codes. While I will continuously improve on the knowledge you have shared with us, concluding these classes with you as the tutor has increased my confidence in embarking on any workforce or consultancy roles that will require Phyton skills. 


Furthermore, having a rated value of the training to be 9.8/10, I will surely recommend anyone who would want to participate in your future lectures to consider it strongly. Thanks again for your time, patience, and dedication during the lectures. 




Master student.


  1. From Charles Onyi

Dear Ms Chioma,

Please, I want to use this opportunity to officially thank you for forcing me to take part in the python training program during the past 5 weeks which you organised and presented to us. Please find below a short feedback from the course.


Detailed Presentation!

I will like to commend Ms Chioma Obiakor on the detailed resource presentation on introduction to basic python for data analysis done from crash to the level of manipulation of datasets using PANDAS. Her pattern of hand on discussion helped to engage her participants throughout each lesson periods. Detailed with numerous examples for each concept presented. I must say that for you to gain something, you must participate during the discussion, otherwise you will fail to feel its impact. After this basic-intermediate knowledge of Python programming discussion, I am confident to advance into specialised areas of data analysis using python. 


Charles Emeka Onyi

PhD Student.


  1. From Jane Raluchukwu


Dear Chioma,


I wish to say that you gave us an opportunity of a lifetime. It is not something that you meet every other time. I must say that I got a lot from the Lectures. God bless you for being a blessing to us during this COVID--19 period. You are indeed a teacher!


Jane Raluchukwu

Legal practitioner.

(Changed: 2021-08-19)