“AFRICA ISN’T BACKWARD IN THE ZEAL TO LEARN”, SAYS CRUTECH’s DIR. OF ACADEMIC PLANNING

The Director of Academic Planning (DAP) of Cross River University of Technology, Professor Babson Ajibade, has stated that although Africa is backward in technology, the continent is not backward in the zeal or willingness to learn. He stated this today when he featured as a guest on “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo”, a program of Hit 95.9FM radio station, Calabar.

While speaking on plans to introduce virtual classes in Cross River University of Technology despite the low level of internet penetration in some parts of Cross River State, Professor Ajibade said: “Africa is backward in technology. But not backward in manpower and the zeal or willingness to learn. These students have been at home for close to a year, doing nothing. Therefore, if they have the opportunity to learn, they will be willing to go the extra mile.”

He explained that Cross River University of Technology has a Short Term Modality (STM) for virtual learning that is “quick, cheap and doable”. According to him, the university’s website, Zoom as well as the regular social media will be deployed to facilitate virtual learning.
Professor Ajibade added that structured reading materials and course outline divided into 12 modules would be prepared for students to read before lecture periods on the Zoom platform.

He further explained that Cross River University of Technology is fully prepared to reduce large gatherings and minimize the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that academic activities resume in phases.
He elaborated that: “Year 3, 4 and 5 will resume tomorrow. We have all the space for all these 3 classes. When they are through with their exams and they leave, Year 1 and 2 will resume. After the first semester examination and the Year 3 to 5 leave the campus, the Year 1 and 2 students will come to campus. At the same time, Year 3, 4 and 5 will be at home to start the second semester through virtual classes.”

In addition, Professor Ajibade said that the university is set to enforce COVID-19 protocols right from the gates of various campuses. He added that “when the students get into the class, the lecturers must be part of the enforcement process. If we all enforce and obey these protocols, there is no doubt we can keep the infections as low as possible.”

Similarly, Professor Emmanuel Uttah, Chairman, CRUTECH Central Committee on COVID-19, featured on “ The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” and stated that adequate preparations have been made to keep COVID-19 at bay, when academic activities resume. He said: “Firstly, we have started implementing ‘no nose mask, no entry’. You are stopped at the gate. If you do not wear a nose mask, you won’t enter. Secondly, we have already told students that they must have their own hand sanitizers. Everybody should have a hand sanitizer. With this, you are covered. Thirdly, we have in mind to also have hand washing stations around campus. You must wash your hands before you enter any building. We have also completed reassessing the carrying capacity of our lecture halls, studios and laboratories to ensure that 2 meters apart is enforced. So, we are actually ready for them.”

Professor James Epoke, former Vice Chancellor of University of Calabar, also featured on the radio program and supported the reopening of academic activities in universities. He pondered that: “The churches are open. The markets are open. Everywhere is open. Why shouldn’t the schools be reopened?”

By CRUTECH Media Team.

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