Following the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the realization that the country would need to go on lockdown to curb the virus’ spread, most students were anxious about the fate of their education. This anxiety was worse among university students, especially those who were in the final semester of their final year.
Fortunately, tertiary institutions like Nile University of Nigeria have been able to ensure that their academic activities are not disrupted by the pandemic. As such, the students of Nile University of Nigeria are on course to finish their semester on schedule.
The video address by the Vice-Chancellor of Nile University of Nigeria, Prof. Osman Nuri Aras, following the closure of the University to ensure the safety of staff and students during the pandemic lends credence to the above point. In his speech, Prof. Aras stated: “We would like to reassure our students and parents that even during these unusual times, Nile University of Nigeria will continue to provide uninterrupted education for our students by tapping into the opportunities provided by various licensed learning Management Systems (LMS) and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).”
Prof. Aras’ assertions were supported by the statements by Nile University’s students, who expressed their delight at the institution’s ability to ensure that the semester was not disrupted by COVID-19. According to Precious Okon, a 300 level student of Petroleum and Gas Engineering, “I was really worried about how we would be able to complete our syllabus considering the emergency break, but I’m grateful to the IT and administration team at Nile University for coming up with the idea of online classes.” In the same vein, Samuel Collins, a 100 level student of Medicine and Surgery, had this to say: “I want to thank the university for the continuity of the academic session despite the pandemic that has been ravaging the world and stopping students from going to school.”
Nile University’s ability to ensure education continuity for its students amid the current crisis owes to its emphasis on the integration of technology in learning. Since the University’s establishment in 2009, it has continuously viewed and used digital infrastructure as indispensable tools to support students’ learning. This has enabled Nile University to not only provide its students with 21st century industry-relevant education but also equipped it with an e-learning capability that allows it to adapt to and provide uninterrupted services to its students in a variety of situations, such as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to supporting online lectures and other academic activities, Nile University’s digital capability has enabled the institution to conduct its non-classroom educational activities uninterrupted. Over the past few weeks, the University has held several educative webinars that have featured several accomplished individuals in various fields as guest speakers. For instance, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi (DG, NITDA) and Prof. M.S. Haruna (Executive Vice-Chairman, NASENI) recently participated as guest speakers in webinars organized by Nile University. The institution has many more of these events lined up over the next few weeks.
Regardless of what direction the COVID-19 crisis takes next, students of universities like Nile University of Nigeria can take comfort in the knowledge that their education will not be disrupted.