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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Is Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka aiding the spread of Covid-19 virus?


Is Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka aiding the spread of Covid-19 virus?

Is Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka aiding the spread of Covid-19 virus?

Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (UNIZIK) is under fire for exposing students to the danger of contracting corona virus after it released a timetable involving online classes and examinations to conclude the 2019/2020 academic session and commence 2020/2021 session, the process requires students converging in the management block of the university. From reports we received, it is safe to say that social distancing, wearing of face masks and so many other Covid-19 safety protocols are clearly absent in this exercise.

Insensitivity is increasing rapidly in institutions across Nigeria whether it is politics, religion or academics, and no other person but the common man is at the receiving end of the emotional and mental brutality.

The public university system in Nigeria has been under lock and keys for almost a year now with all academic activities shut down. For the time it took the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shut down schools and demand redress to some of their grievances, one would have thought that the affected universities would have designed a system that will enable students return to learning and completion of their programs without setbacks once the strike was called off. Unfortunately, it was not to be so.

Instead we are now seeing administrations of the citadel of learning in the country apply trial and error methods to kick start academic programs again.

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK) had earlier released a timetable in December which set dates for official conclusion of 2019/2020 academic session and commencement of 2020/2021 academic session online.

Naturally, opting to handle classes and examinations online in order to check and curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus is a good thing. However, there are a lot of foreseeable obstacles that these typical ‘Nigerian’ service renderers had overlooked. For example, nothing of this nature has been tried in any public university before, not of talk of doing it in such a large scale, yet, there was no test-run (the students we spoke to confirmed that they had no idea of any) or at least a sizable one to match the scale of services the system will be rendering.

Crowd gathered at the MICTU, NAU
Crowd gathered at the MICTU, NAU

Secondly, the registration and confirmation process of the online classes required students flooding the school’s Management, Information and Communication Technology Unit (MICTU). This has obviously defeated the idea of checking and curbing the spread of the dreaded virus. Students and their families are now even more exposed than they would have normally been if physical classes with strict adherence to social distancing and wearing of facemask was allowed.

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