With the rising cases of people contracting the virulent Delta variant of Covid 19, spreading fast in the country, and with its other attendant effects, the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, has resolved to starting full online teaching or adopting a blended approach of teaching for all its courses in various departments “to ensure the safety of all staff and students given the increasing rate of infections being experienced in Nigeria and on our campus.
In a ‘Special Release’, Number 4413, dated 15th of August, and signed by the institution’s Registrar, Mrs. Olubunmi O. Faluyi, MCIPM, the management’s decision concerning the commencement of online classes, were disseminated to students, lectures and other members of the campus community for their information.
“This is to inform the University community that Management has requested the Faculties to identify the courses to be taught online and those to be taught physically en route to the commencement of the blended mode of teaching and learning for the remaining part of the second semester of the 2020/2021 session.
In a similar development, the meeting held on the 11th of August, 2021, by the Emergency Remote Teaching Committee (ERTC), the team came up with the following recommendations which are to be noted by the Committee of Provosts and Deans (CoPD); it read:
More cases of Covid-19 are being announced nationwide. These call for caution and proactive actions which should take into consideration, in the main, the review of the mode of teaching and learning in the second semester and, as a consequence, provide a safe way to undertake pedagogical activities on Nigerian university campuses;
With the daily rising cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19, and with several cases within the main and the College of Medicine/UCH campuses, the ERTC considered a proposal of blended teaching for the second-semester lectures in the University;
The blended learning model should be officially decided in terms either of availability of sections of the student population for online or physical encounters or the categorization of courses as online or physical which neutralizes choice of location or keeps all students, in principle, in physical presence within and/or around the campus;
The Emergency Remote Teaching Committee (ERTC) also suggested the following platforms expected to be used for the online lectures.
“The ERTC platforms and tools (LMS, zoom, youtube, gsuite accounts, telegram fora, solution clinics) should be maintained for use by students and staff in all cases;
Google meet which is practically free should, in addition, be encouraged for lectures since all academics have access to Gmail accounts;
Firm decisions and systematicity should be applied on the preference for the operations of blended learning to ensure effectiveness.
Mrs. Faluyi affirmed the management’s resolve to ensuring that members of the campus community adhere to laid down rules governing Covid 19.
“Management should note the poor compliance with COVID-19 protocols by the entire University community and should ensure strict compliance through the University’s Covid- 19 Committee
She further stated that:
“If the situation worsens on campus, full online engagement should be mounted for all courses as was done in the first semester, exempting only departments and units with special needs with the condition that evident strict compliance with the protocols will be observed; and advised that, bigger zoom rooms for courses with more than 1800 students be purchased and added to the existing pool.
The University Registrar Faluyi, also used the opportunity, to commend the departments that have started virtual/blended teaching since its commencement in 2020/2021 session. and urged other departments that are yet to embrace the e-learning teaching methods to please do so as soon as possible.
“Management commends all departments engaging in virtual/blended teaching since the commencement of the 2020/2021 Session. All departments are urged to immediately take advantage of existing arrangements and commence virtual/blending teaching.
She added that,
“The Directorate of Information Technology and Media Services (ITeMS) and the ERTC are on the ground available to provide technical support.
Mrs. Faluyi also mentioned that, “Arrangements are ongoing to make vaccines available for all staff and students as soon as possible; and that, details will be provided as more progress is made on the vaccination exercise.
She encouraged members of the community to take responsibility for their safety by obeying Covid 19 safety protocols.
“In the meantime, we all need to take personal responsibility for our safety by obeying all COVID-19 safety protocols” and opined that, if all Covid 19 rules are obeyed, there will be no cause for panic on the University campus. “If we do this, there will be no cause for panic on our campus.”
However, information that reached SarahReports.com, revealed that, the students’ community, do not so much like the idea of online teaching, for some reasons known to them; and also, for other obvious motives.