NUC gives Nige­ria var­si­ties till Au­gust 5 to show readi­ness to re­open

Business Day (Nigeria) - - NEWS - KELECHI EWUZIE

Na­tional Uni­ver­si­ties Com­mis­sion (NUC) has given all the fed­eral, state and pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties till Wed­nes­day Au­gust 5, 2020 to com­plete a tem­plate form show­ing their readi­ness to re­sume aca­demic ac­tiv­i­ties which have been closed since 23 March due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

NUC, the reg­u­la­tory and li­cens­ing body for uni­ver­si­ties in Nige­ria in a let­ter to the vice-chan­cel­lors of the 171 ap­proved uni­ver­si­ties, out­lined the mea­sures needed to be taken by all in­sti­tu­tions.

Chris Maiyaki, di­rec­tor, direc­torate of the ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary’s of­fice in a let­ter seen by Busi­ness­day said the Na­tional Uni­ver­si­ties Com­mis­sion has de­vel­oped a tem­plate to gen­er­ate data/ in­for­ma­tion on the pre­pared­ness of uni­ver­si­ties for pos­si­ble re­open­ing and re­sump­tion of aca­demic ac­tiv­i­ties amid the Covid-19 pan­demic.

Maiyaki stated that the uni­ver­si­ties were also re­quired to in­di­cate the mea­sures/strate­gies that have been put in place prepara­tory to the safe and hitch-free re­open­ing of in­sti­tu­tions in readi­ness for the com­mence­ment of full aca­demic ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Maiyaki, “Such in­for­ma­tion when gen­er­ated across the en­tire sub-sec­tor will pro­vide the com­mis­sion with a full pic­ture of the chal­lenges as well as guide pol­icy op­tions by the govern­ment”.

He fur­ther noted that the tem­plate also pro­vides for data on phys­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties such as in­fra­struc­ture dig­i­tal de­liv­ery, lec­ture the­atres, halls and class­rooms, lab­o­ra­to­ries/ work­shops/stud­ies and stu­dents ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The let­ter dated July 29 and ad­dressed to all vice chan­cel­lor ob­served that in the midst of all Covid-19 chal­lenges, the fed­eral min­istry of ed­u­ca­tion had since de­vel­oped and cir­cu­lated guide­lines for school and learn­ing fa­cil­i­ties to pro­vide the re­quired sup­port for the safe re­open­ing of schools and re­sump­tion of aca­demic ac­tiv­i­ties.

Busi­ness­day had ear­lier re­ported that amid the dis­rup­tion in tra­di­tional learn­ing oc­ca­sioned by clo­sure of lec­ture halls, pri­vate­ly­owned uni­ver­si­ties in Nige­ria have em­braced this “big mo­ment”, but not so for most fed­eral and state uni­ver­si­ties across the six geo-political zones which are bat­tling the lack of ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture for on­line learn­ing, ASUU strike, among other chal­lenges.

Na­tional Uni­ver­si­ties Com­mis­sion (NUC) data show that only 87 of Nige­ria’s 170 uni­ver­si­ties are able to of­fer up to 24-hour Wi-fi ser­vice which, in the pe­riod of on­line learn­ing, is key.

Ac­cord­ing to the data, uni­ver­si­ties owned by pri­vate en­ti­ties in Nige­ria are the ones able to pro­vide in­ter­net ac­cess to their staff and stu­dents 24 hours daily with 58.6 per­cent of them able to do so. They are fol­lowed by fed­eral uni­ver­si­ties where 58.1 per­cent could of­fer in­ter­net ser­vice for 24 hours, while only 38.6 per­cent of state uni­ver­si­ties are able to of­fer 24-hour daily in­ter­net ser­vice.

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