Students reacts as FG directs resumption via Online Teaching

By Erinfolami Rachael, Adebayo Joshua

Following the shutting down of schools and Tertiary Institutions across the federation over the outbreak of covid-19, the Federal Government on Thursday 2nd April, 2020 directed that all Tertiary Institutions in the country should resume Academic Session by organizing online teaching for Students.
Unsure of how soon the pandemic will end, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu during an opened talk with 237 Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts directed all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to activate virtual learning environment to enable students continue their studies through digital devices.
Adamu, in a teleconference meeting which lasted four and half hours with the Vice Chancellors and other heads of tertiary institutions from his home in Abuja, maintained that the Federal Government, cannot afford to shut schools for a long time. Adding that the essence of the meeting is to find solutions to the challenges posed to the nation’s school calendar by Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
In agreement with the new directive, most Vice Chancellors of private universities who were at the meeting, embraced the idea and expressed readiness to reopen because they claimed that they have top grade virtual learning system.
Those physically present with the minister were the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed; the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr. Masa’udu Adamu Kazaure; the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi; and the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede among others.
“COVID-19 has changed everybody. I am pleading with you to device alternative ways make sure the education of our children will not stop. We have to create virtual learning environment.
“This is the second meeting I am having. All I want is that we should fully engage our students. We are already speaking with the World Bank and UNICEF on how to create platforms for virtual learning classrooms.
“We need to take advantage of technology like the case in other parts of the world. We cannot shut down all schools when we have other means to teach our students.”
Although, a Vice Chancellor of a second generation university said “the e-platforms cannot replace face-to-face contacts with students,” the Minister said: “This is a period we have to make use of the platforms available, we cannot keep students at home.”
He also asked the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to work out modalities on how primary school pupils and secondary students could learn by using radio and television stations.
“We will work out how we can involve state governments to use radio and television stations.
At the session, most of the Vice Chancellors of private universities were excited by the prospect of reopening.
They all admitted that they have “top grade virtual learning system.”
A Vice Chancellor of a private university said: “Hon. Minister, you can see why it is necessary to amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Act to enable private universities to benefit from intervention funds.
“Other than complying with the directive of the Federal Government, we did not see any reason for closing private universities because we have efficient virtual learning environment.”
Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Dutse, Prof. Fatima Bature, said: “We are very strong in virtual learning, we are set for it.”
It was not immediately clear when the reopening of varsities online will begin.
Meanwhile, in a survey and separate interview by CAMPUS FOCUS, students expressed concern over the online teaching directives.
One of the Student Ayoola sarah said “It’s not a bad idea though, only if they can provide us Data. Not all the students will grab this idea.”

Another Student Adedeji kehinde Victoria, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) said “I think this is good, and it will keep our brain busy, it will be effective on the serious student.”

For a Student of FUOYE, simply identified as Damilola “To me is not making sense at all. think of how many students will be serious about it. Not everybody will benefit from this. Even network sometimes can be shit. So to me, it’s nonsense.”

In the same vein, Ogunbodede Olayinka Esther of University of Nigeria Nnsukka (UNN) “Data and network is a problem. If the government can give free data, then I think it will be effective. Secondly, our scheme of work is different, so something should be done to also solve that angle”

Adeyinka oluwatobi Daniel of FUOYE said “To me it is a good idea, it will bring Education closer to the student, even when we are at home, easily, we stay in our room and studying online which will even make us safe from this pandemic. But the problem data. Another is the aspect of distraction that will affect total concentration. For example, we will use our data to receive lecture online and at the same time WhatsApp, Facebook messages will be coming in, with that, there will be distraction. And it will also result in high consumption of data.

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