By Erasmus Ikhide
With the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO) has expectedly opened a new window of learning; research and documentation re-enforced by e-learning programmes for students in all strata.
By this arrangement, parents and guardians would have no course to worry about in the coronavirus lockdown as students can now interface with lecturers through online learning management system (OLMS).
The novel programmes have put the University and its management on the World Map given institutions and businesses across the globe have been shut down to curb the spread of the disease which is estimated to have taken millions of lives.
As expectedly, the system allows students to have lecturers through the modular system of online learning. At the moment, lectures are going on in the Dr Good luck Jonathan College of Arts and social sciences, in other colleges lectures have fully commenced with OLMS and about 70% of students have enrolled so far.
Succinctly, lecturers daily upload their lectures on the portal using the modular with reading list, course outline, classes assignments and seminar topics as necessary. Students on their part are expected to do their assignments and send via the portal to the respective lecturers for correction and grading and result to be sent back to them. Leaving no vacuum in the system, the postgraduate level seminars will be presented through the e-conferencing system where the accessors interface with students.
Arrangements are being made to enable students to present their seminars and defend their thesis through zoom, a medium through which students and lecturers interact. Consequently, it is recorded that IUO is on its verge of becoming the best university in Nigeria and beyond.
In the foregoing, the university has fully deployed the online learning management system and their supplementary platform for both the undergraduate and postgraduate for lectures and assignments.
Interestingly, students do not see e-learning as replacing traditional teacher-led instruction but as a complement to it, forming part of a blended learning strategy, as the school has over 86% of its students captured across the globe on the OLMS, to this extent, continuous assessment tests (C.A.Ts) has been concluded on the platform and results will be ready before 27th May 2020.
Furthermore, final year students are set to commence project defence virtually on the OLM starting from the 8th June 2020, being the second week of June, in keeping faith with the approved 2019/2020 Academic calender. Suffice to say that I.U.O is about the very first private university in Nigeria and sub- Sahara Africa to come up with this initiative in line with the vision of Sir Chief Gabriel Igbinedion who has come out first in different fields of human endeavours.
In line with the policy to shape the future of the students, and making them fully furnished with essential skills that will make them successfully engage in global enterprise and entrepreneurship, the university also established a Microsoft academy in collaboration with Microsoft, having a twenty-first century Microsoft skill centre in the campus which avail the students’ opportunity to train for Mikro Tik courses like Mikro Tik Certified Network Associate — MTCNA, Mikro Tik Certified Routine
Engineer– MTCRE, Mikro Tik Certified Wireless Engineer — MTCWE, Mikro Tik certified Traffic Control Engineer–MTCTCE, Mikro Tik Certified User Management Engineer MTCUME, Mikro Tik Certified IPv6 Engineer MTCIPv6E, Mikro Tik Certified Internetworking Engineer MTCINE. Others are the Mikro Tik certified Security Engineer MTCSE and Mikro Tik certified Advanced Security Engineer MTCASE. This and more the university hope to achieve upon academic resumption.
IUO’s strategy has given credence to the saying that a nation without sound, quality and innovative education can not compete with its counterpart in the comity of nations. This corroborate the vision of a former American president Abraham Lincoln when he said: “I will read, work hard and prepare for I know that one day, my chance will come”. It is needless to begin a research on the role of education in developing countries like Nigeria.
The context and the contents of Nigerian education will no doubt determine the future of our generation yet unborn. The country has also had its fair share of the ills of low-quality education. For instance, in 2002, at a time the whole world was waiting to see the potentials of the country through an organized beauty contest of the world scheduled to hold in the nation’s capital and the city of Lagos, crises erupted as a result of a statement made by a female journalist Isioma Daniels and of course the rest is now a story never to be forgotten.
The point here is that if education had played the role it ought to play, the understanding, enlightenment and the gains of education would be harnessed to take Nigeria to an enviable height rather than make a mess of a supposed great nation. At a time Nigeria was heading towards the doom associated with low quality or none availability of education, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion established the nation’s premier private university, Igbinedion University (IUO) to salvage the situation.
The visionary Chief Igbinedion did this not only to increase the number of tertiary institutions in the country but did it with the clear intent to raise the bar above the standard it was and bridge the gap in the nation’s educational system. Apart from meeting the educational needs of the largest and the most populous black people of the world, the university has become the mirror through which the future can be viewed.
Having met an international standard, the institution runs virtually all the courses in Art and humanities, medical sciences, engineering, agricultural sciences, social sciences, management sciences, Law information and communication technology amongst others. No meaningful achievement would be made without a skilled workforce and a managerial competence to stir the ship of development, hence, the engagement of Professor Lawrence Ezemonye as the new Vice-Chancellor who is currently leading other renowned scholars to actualise the set goals.