Let me start by wishing you a Merry Christmas in arrears and a prosperous and happy New Year in advance.
It has been a long time coming since the industrial action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which commenced on 23rd of March, 2020, but now that ASUU strike has been suspended on the 23rd of December, 2020. This means the strike action lasted for nine (9) full months of no academic activities in Federal and State-owned universities in Nigeria.
Even with the pandemic, no form of physical or even virtual continuation of academic activities was done in any of the aforementioned schools which is very bad for the educational sector and ranking of Nigerian Universities with other international universities. Recall, that only private universities continued with various forms of virtual methods of learning.
This has greatly affected and distorted the academic calendars of federal and state-owned universities and now that the strike action has been called off such schools would want to cope and maybe ‘rush’ things a little bit, but how prepared are you as a student?
Despite the fact that the second wave of the pandemic and a possible lockdown is emerging, you should have it in the back of your mind that the virtual method of learning is another tool that universities would use to continue learning.
The strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was the eliminating factor during the long 9 (nine) months of no learning at all, but now that the ASUU strike has been suspended, universities can now fully adopt them when schools eventually resume in January.
Things you should note:
- State-owned and federal universities are very behind academically when compared to their private university counterparts.
- To meet up, semesters and sessions might be rush, most likely most schools would attempt having 3 semesters in 2020.
- With the second wave of the COVID-19 and a possible lockdown still emerging, universities would definitely make use of virtual learning methods.
What now you can do:
- Start revising all your notes as soon as possible: it has been a long 9 months without studying for a lot of university students out there. You would need to refresh your memories as quickly as possible.
- Create a timetable: Learning is more focused and easy-going when you create a timetable to help guide you.
- Get your virtual learning device ready: You would need a long-lasting internet device, be it a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC.
- Get your data plan ready: Virtual learning especially online video streaming would consume a lot of data; lecture materials could also come in PDFs or video formats. You need a strong network and data plan. You should also find a backup network plan to avoid disappointments.
- Get familiar with virtual learning platforms: There are a lot of websites out there that facilitate eLearning courses, some examples are Coursera, Udemy, Edx, Google Classroom, etc. YouTube and Zoom platforms could also be used. You could take an online course to help you familiarize yourself with the environment.
My next article would be in detail on how to adequately prepare for virtual learning during this short holiday. Until then, anticipate!