Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has revealed that the Federal Government was planning towards having students in higher institutions to receive lectures via the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
Both NTA and FRCN are federal government-owned broadcast platforms with coverage across the country.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, schools at all levels have been shut down.
EduCeleb.com had already reported that about ten states àcross the country each have radio and television programmes for students in primary and secondary schools during this period.
It is not immediately clear what modalities would be ensured in implementing the intended broadcasts for those in tertiary institutions with the multiple courses students have to offer.
At the COVID-19 presidential task force briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, Adamu said the ministry had been planning for this long before the pandemic.
“The ministry has been planning even before COVID-19, only that because of it now people know about it,” he said.
“Some of my tertiary institutions are already giving their lessons, some online, and the ministry is working with the Nigeria Television Authority and the FRCN to start giving lectures, not just because of COVID-19. I hope this would become a permanent feature of our education system.
“So, lessons would be given online. Last time I met with the vice-chancellors, I even talked to the press and told them I have directed institutions of higher learning to start thinking of giving people lessons where they are.
“I am also aware that there are some private institutions who are already giving lessons online.”
It is not clear if the lectures would be provided by university teachers who had embarked on strike before the pandemic led to the closure of schools.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) commenced a warning strike since 9th March, 2020 after a disagreement with the government over the implementation of the IPPIS, of rehabilitation of universities and earned academic allowances.
The strike had continued indefinitely, despite the federal government’s new proposal to the lecturers to merge the IPPIS with the union’s proposed Universities Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS).
Adamu also claimed that salaries have been paid.
“As far as I know, there is nobody who has not been paid his or her salary,” he said.
“And I know the directive of the president is, despite the lockdown, nobody should have his salary withheld. But since I am just coming today, and I have been meeting the education family through Zoom at home, but I hope to be at the office tomorrow and then I would find out if there is anybody and then I would attend to that.”