By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
Attention of the Federal government had been drawn towards the underlying contention that exists between its administration and members, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for settlement to pave way for progressive flow of academic activities after the lockdown.
This clarion call was made by a professor of political in Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Eugene Nweke, penultimate weekend in Abakaliki while addressing newsmen on COVID-I9 implication on education and other issues urging that the internal disruption already experiencing before the pandemic should be resolved.
Nweke said, “The effect of COVID-19 on education is found all over the world but in Nigeria, educational system had been suffering from internal academic disruption following the ASUU strike.”
“Thus, as we are looking towards easing off the challenges of the pandemic, we must also consider resolving the problem so that immediately after the lockdown, educational system will progress”, he said.
The university Don who is also Dean, school of postgraduate studies further suggested that as a result of the pause caused by the global health challenge, that students should not be expected to pay extra tuition fees rather the universities and educational system should bear the loss as their part of effect over the pandemic.
Professor Nweke, having seen the devastating effect of COVID 19 on education disclosed that EBSU through the members of a committee already instituted in collaboration with the institution’s Information and Communication Technology had met on how to come up with Electronic Learning (E-Learning) programme for graduates and undergraduates.
He explained that E-Learning is visual education power by internet which comprises Online studies where students could read, learn and write examinations without having physical contact with lecturers and thereby stated that the modalities for the programme is ongoing in the university.
“Nowadays, we have podcast, YouTube and other applications, all of them boil down to E-Learning, it is not specifically for school system rather it is for both formal and informal education which can be applied on our daily dealings be it cultural, educational or social through technological driven means of transferring knowledge.”
“To make the programme possible in Ebonyi State mostly in this period of pandemic, the university officials had met over the E-Learning programme.”
“COVID-I9 has equally exposed the weakness of the third world countries as Nigeria, a situation where we normally wait for something to happen before an action will be taken, we have not been following advancement in technology even when there is projection that in the next 10 years, there will be few students in the universities because people will be studying at the comfort of their homes, the pandemic had made us to know that it is high time we started as a country, we will take action, though I thank God that EBSU has begun the process” he said.
He therefore appealed that the National policy should be channeled towards expanding internet and telecommunication services to rural areas to increase access to knowledge and subsidize the costs of E-Learning devices so that indigent students could afford them.
According to Professor Nweke, to achieve a tactful result lies on creating an environment where one would have access to internet to make E-Learning workable while stating that EBSU is one of the higher institutions that started accessing results online and thereby advised government to cut down the cost of internet services.