By Nna Anulumadu
In line with global practices, the authorities of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, have announced that the Sandwich Programme of the University would continue to be run online including the examination of students.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS, made this known when the Unit organized a one-day workshop on “Online teaching and Examination”, on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at the ASUU-NAU Secretariat.
Prof. Esimone, who said that the move was in line with his vision of repositioning the University to be among the best 200 Universities in the world, commended the Sandwich Director, Dr. Constance Ifeyinwa Okoli, for driving the vision of online teaching and examination, which, he described as ‘unprecedented’. While declaring the workshop open, the vice-chancellor charged the lecturers and students to avoid resistance by quickly adjusting to the ‘new innovation’.
Esimone, who spoke on ‘Ethics of Online Teaching and Examination’ during the workshop, called for honesty in time management, fidelity of material and lecture modules, as well as proper usage of online platforms. He also urged the lecturers and students to ensure they observe ethics in the practice of online teaching and examination.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Q-Verse E-learning Ltd and former vice-chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, told his audience to key into the online teaching and learning, describing it as both ‘liberating and emancipating’. He warned that any lecturer who fails to adapt would be left behind especially as Universities the world over move to digitized systems by doing 90 per cent of their programmes online.
In a welcome remark, Dr. Okoli said the Sandwich Programme was meant to satisfy the skill and competency needs of students who cannot attend the regular programme, while disclosing that the Programme had metamorphosed from merely training teachers to training entrepreneurs, managers, public health workers, and so on.
The Director also said the adoption of the online teaching and learning by the Sandwich Programme was in line with the need for Nigeria to be in tandem with the world, remarking that the gesture would help to cover up lost academic sessions. She then thanked the vice-chancellor for creating an enabling environment and empowering various units to key into the online mode, while disclosing that the Sandwich Unit had successfully conducted online teaching and examination.
Dr. Aniedu Azubike, the director of MICTU (software), who spoke on the ‘Benefits and Challenges of Online Teaching and Examination’, listed remote access, availability and scalability to reach the world, adaptability, easily progressive, personalized coaching, among others, as benefits of online teaching. He, however, admitted that resistance to change, poor internet connectivity, cost of data, data privacy, and so on, were part of challenges that could mar online teaching and examination.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Prof. Emenike Obi, commended the leadership of Sandwich Unit, and noted that such workshops would help to bridge the gap and frequent interruptions of academic programmes occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, bad roads, strike actions, irregular school system and government unpreparedness.
A presentation of detailed technicalities of the elements of online teaching and examination by Mr. Arinze Ani, as well as the question and answer session, formed the high points of the workshop.