The Vice-Chancellor of Caleb University, Imota in Ikorodu axis of Lagos, Prof. Nosa Owens-Ibie, has said that the university was adequately positioned and prepared for reopening in line with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID- 19) pandemic protocols and guidelines, espoused by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
This was as he reiterated that all necessary facilities and protocols include new innovations had been put in place on campus by the university management to safeguard every member of the university community and which will be strictly followed.
Owens-Ibie, who disclosed this during an interactive session with a section of journalists at the Imota, main campus of the private university, however, noted that despite the fact that the outbreak of the virus, which led to the closure of all institutions of learning in the country, which was not anticipated, the university had since embrace the “New Normal” without missing out any academic and other activities of the institution.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, though the new challenges posed by the outbreak are products of necessity, the institution has not missed a day’s academic activities in the semester as the ivory tower commenced and ended the semester on schedule in view of the reality of the times.
He said: “We ended our first semester in February and the students’ results were released on March 18, while we were supposed to resume on April 20, but for the coronavirus outbreak. However, be- cause of the pandemic, we resumed the second semester with all our lectures taught online.
We put in place a system in which we have all our students’ email accounts. “The operations of the university are being organised on the template that nobody prepared for since we never envisaged the pandemic.
Also, meetings by the various School Committees and other activities are being held online through the e-learning management system we put in place for our undergraduate and postgraduate students, which has allowed seamless operation of our system.”
While underscoring the relevance of technology across the learning value chains, which he said had taken the centre stage, Owens-Ibie, therefore, noted that e-learning through the deployment of technology had also come to stay with a new blend.
The Vice-Chancellor also hinted that all arrangements had been concluded to hold the students’ graduation online on September 25, while the institution’s yearly thanksgiving for this year was also conducted online with all students participated.
On accreditation status of the university’s academic programmes, he recalled that the National Universities Commission (NUC) had approved new five academic programmes for the university at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
This, he added, was aside full accreditation of all academic programmes run by the university by the Commission and other professional accreditation bodies.
He listed some of the new academic programmes approved by the NUC to include PhD in Computer Science, Finance and Management, as well as Architecture which had since taken off in January with two sets.
Owens-Ibie, a Professor of Communication, Media and Development, who pointed out that the university was committed to quality, said that the institution’s College of Medicine would soon take off.
On the recent complaints by some parents over school fees and other charges, especially accommodation fee, the Vice-Chancellor, however, attributed such development to communication gap between the Caleb University Parents’ Forum and the management, saying the issues had been amicably resolved.
“Students were however allowed to register for courses on the portal during the semester, irrespective of fee status, while those unable to pay their fees due to COVID-19 challenges were given access to the university’s e-learning platform.
Besides, we said those who had already paid their accommodation fees should come for the refund or carry it over for next semester,” the Vice-Chancellor said.