It is almost a week since students and pupils across Cameroon are home following a shut down of schools as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
As stakeholders continue to brainstorm on measures to provide students and pupils with lessons while they are at home, the ICT University has taken the fore to roll out an enticing e-learning masterplan that will see its students continue studies unperturbed.
Professor Victor Mbarika, President of the Board of Trustees of the ICT University says the institution is equipped and armed to face the global challenge.
“We now have to come to a reality. The coronavirus or covid-19 is here and we have to deal with it. We cannot run away from it. The coronavirus is putting the world and the educational systems in some…temporary havoc and it is my hope this virus doesn’t last too long,” Professor Mbarika said.
Campuses spread across the world with headquarters in Cameroon, Prof Mbarika says the ICT University broadcasts live all over the world on the internet such that students can attend the classes live.
“I am talking about taking materials , dropping on the saver and telling students to go do assignment and comeback, they can attend those classes live. They can stop the teacher, the professor in the middle of the class and ask their questions,” he says
The decision of the government to shutdown schools has been recieved with mixed feelings but Professor Mbarika says it is a welcomed move whic will help control the spread of the virus.
He however called on governments in Africa and around the world to start thinking on how to training education technology specialists and said the ICT University is ready to help in the process.
“We pride ourselves with our e-learning system. It is a system of global standards. Once a student gains admission into the ICT University, our technology and e-learning department creates the students school e-mail address and equally give access to our online learning platform,” he said.
Last week, the government of Cameroon started seeking ways of providing lectures to students with the Ministry of Higher Education as well as the Ministry of Secondary Education recommending e-learning as a solution.
But to Professor Victor Mbarika, “there are some issues that have to be overcome in order to really practice e-learning.
The first challenge, he said is that there is lack of appropriate training. A larger percentage of university professors, secondary school teachers do not have the appropriate training to teach online. The ICT University, he said is ready to accompany governments to overcome these challenges.
““We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in building a very strong e-learning infrastructure to support learning and teaching,” he said.