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