The Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) has attacked the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, for directing the tertiary institutions across Nigeria to complete the remaining academic calendar via online teaching.
The union described the directive by the Minister as mere political gimmicks and lack of understanding of the situation in the sector he presides over.
Describing the Minister as not “properly educated”, the union stated that no institution in Nigeria has the facility to run an online lecturing system and that such a system entails more than computer vending and supplies.
The University lecturers stated that “Online learning is a type of E-learning that depends entirely on internet-based resources and support system. E-learning requires certain behavioural changes and regulatory adjustments in order to make it work for the learner. It cannot be established by mere Ministerial directive and bureaucratic fiat but through careful and detailed planning, funding and training by those involved. None of these has been done in Nigeria.
“There is no Nigeria University today that is operating any form or model of E-learning because of poor internet access, high bandwidth costs and irregular power supply. On what infrastructure does the Minister expect the online delivery to run?
“Over the years, governments, in collaboration with some corrupt Vice-Chancellors have dumped smartboards on Universities which are now largely used as markerboards because they are not internet-enabled and have no electricity to power them.
“Faculties in universities have become generator farms with attendant noise pollution in an attempt to maintain some degree of services. What does the Minister expect to happen to change the entrenched degenerative situation?
“Online learning depends critically on an effective library system, with online resources and seamless access from across the globe. No Nigerian Library, including the National Library has a semblance of a kindergarten library in serious countries.
“Online learning can only be effective where there is effective learner support online. For such support to be sustainable both learners and facilitators must have seamless access to the internet, and must be attuned to the new environment and culture of learning. This means that requisite training must have been done, ” the statement read in part.