The University of Ibadan, UI, has begun to make learning resources available on its website for newly admitted students days after HumAngle reported about the students’ frustration.
On Monday, the university management sent texts to the students, who gained admission for the 2019/2020 academic year, informing them that provisions had been made for “some learning resources” ahead of their resumption and directed them to its website.
Prof. A.B. Ekanola, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the institution, left a message on the Learning Management System explaining that the resources would be regularly updated to keep students engaged during the lockdown.
“I am sure you are eager to start your studies at the University of Ibadan, the first and best University in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic has introduced so many uncertainties into our lives, including when school will be back in session,” he said.
“While we wait for normalcy to return to our world, and for the much-awaited school session to commence, you may find the following resources useful as you prepare for the years of learning ahead. These resources will be regularly updated; hence you are encouraged to check back from time to time for new features.”
He added that the resources on the platform were not necessarily lecture notes and that online assessments would not count in determining course grades.
Resources on the website cover all the faculties and include introductory materials on certain subjects and materials on general physical wellness. The students are instructed to log in using their JAMB registration numbers.
In a report published by HumAngle on Wednesday, April 22, the new students who were offered admission six months ago, said they had not been able to register for courses or attend classes.
“Adebayo AbdulRahman, who was admitted to study Political Science in the university, had said: “When the last academic session ended in February, we were expecting the school to announce a resumption date. But we have heard nothing due to the pandemic.
“It is painful that almost half a year after celebrating that you were offered admission you don’t even know the number of courses you are going to offer. You don’t even know the way to your faculty. And, when people ask, you have no choice but to say you are an undergraduate.”
He asked the university to reach out to students and share course outlines and materials with them online.
Speaking to HumAngle, UI’s Students’ Union President, Akeju Olusegun, said the introduction of the learning platform was commendable as it would help to keep students busy.
He said although it was created for newly admitted students, the platform also had materials that were relevant for others.
Olusegun said he hoped the university would put in place a full-fledged e-learning system and update the platform with more materials for old students.
“We know that a lot of things will happen during the lockdown and when you distance yourself from academics, it has a way it affects you,” he added.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, recently identified some challenges to fully implementing e-learning and technologically-enhanced teaching in the university.
“As it is widely known, members of the academic staff were paid their salary last in January, 2020, and in reality this is a major constraint in getting my colleagues back to work as we speak; but we are optimistic that the crisis will be resolved sooner rather than later.
“This may not be the best time to ask them to start working on content development for their courses and this is often time-consuming,” Olayinka said.
Another obstacle is that a great number of students do not own personal computers and access to uninterrupted power supply, he noted.
Olusegun, however, expressed hope that the conversation towards adapting and getting alternative means of teaching students must continue.
He urged the Federal Government to support schools in making e-learning a reality.
“We can’t put everything on hold academically,” Olusegun said.