COVID-19: UI opts for blended teaching

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Following the loss of three of the institution’s professors to the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic within days, authorities at the University of Ibadan (UI) have announced the adoption of a blended mode of teaching on the campus for the rest of the ongoing second semester examination.

The decision was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the university’s Registrar, Olubunmi Faluyi.

This comes within days after the death of three of the university’s professors suspected to be as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement, however, confirmed the increasing number of coronavirus cases at both the main campus of the university, its college of medicine and college hospital.

The three are professors David Olaleye, Bankole Oke and Anthony Ologbobo.

Olaleye was a key part of the Oyo State COVID-19 task force and the head of the clinical virology laboratory where COVID-19 tests are being conducted in the state.

Oke was of the Department of Veterinary Medicine with specialisation in veterinary anatomy, and Ologbobo was of the department of animal science in the faculty of agricultural science.

Since Oyo State reported the Delta variant of the virus some weeks ago, coronavirus cases in the state have increased significantly.

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Blended teaching

The university management said the increasing COVID-19 cases call for caution and proactive actions which includes a review of mode of teaching and learning.

It also noted that all residents, workers on the campus and users of its facilities must ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

The statement reads in part, “This is to inform the University community that management has requested the faculties to identify the courses to be taught online and those to be taught physically en route to the commencement of the blended mode of teaching and learning for the remaining part of the second semester of the 2020/2021 session.”

The registrar said the decision was based on the proposal submitted to the Committee of Provosts and Deans (CoPD), by the Emergency Remote Teaching Committee (ERTC) at a meeting which was held on August 11.

The statement added: “More cases of Covid-19 are being announced nationwide. These call for caution and proactive actions which should take into consideration, in the main, the review of the mode of teaching and learning in the second semester and, as a consequence, provide a safe way to undertake pedagogical activities on Nigerian university campuses,” adding that “The ERTC platforms and tools (LMS, Zoom, YouTube, gsuite accounts, Telegram fora, solution clinics) should be maintained for use by students and staff in all cases.”

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The management also said If the situation worsens on campus, full online engagement should be mounted for all courses, exempting only departments and units with special needs with the condition that evident strict compliance with the protocols will be observed.

It also added that arrangements are ongoing to make vaccines available for all students and staff of the university.

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