Thursday, September 29, 2022

Following complaints, Akin Alabi seeks House review of UNILAG e-learning system

The lawmaker noted that the advent of e-learning system should make learning easier and more interesting and “not to frustrate the students.”

• March 24, 2021
University of Lagos (UNILAG)
University of Lagos (UNILAG)

Following an uproar on the challenges of the e-learning management system of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akin Alabi, a member of the House of Representatives, has sponsored a motion to review students’ complaints.

In January, UNILAG commenced e-learning as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19, but there have been complaints of high data cost, network issues, inability to access the provided platform, system malfunctions, among others.

Some students of the institution earlier told Peoples Gazette that some lecturers “dump materials on the platform” without making further efforts.

Days ago, there was an outrage on social media, after UNILAG sent a new format and schedule for the first semester examinations.

The institution’s management said that students between 300 and 500 level will be accommodated in the hostels to write their examinations physically, while 100 and 200 levels will do theirs virtually from their homes.

This development was not welcomed by some students who took to their social media pages to criticise the management’s decision, as many lamented the unreliable internet networks. There were also complaints of having to write tests repeatedly over the system’s failure.

Having received complaints from students, Mr Alabi moved a motion on the urgent need to call on UNILAG to address issues surrounding the e-learning system which “has made learning difficult and challenging to the students.”

While expressing his concerns on the complaints which are “becoming threats to the learning and successes of students”, the lawmaker stressed that he is aware of “extreme cases where submission of tests results fail, on the platform, correct answers are marked wrongly, and while some cannot even access the platform to take the tests at all, all of which makes the students seem as though they are being set up for failure”.

In the motion, he noted that the advent of e-learning system should make learning easier and more interesting and “not to frustrate the students in their efforts or have lecturers completely abandon their duties of educating the students.

“Further convinced that failure to address these challenges would only make students start to view education as cumbersome, discouraging and stressful, which should be prevented to avert a further deterioration of our educational standard.

“Persuaded that the Institution should devise ways of amendment for affected students by allowing for provisional tests to be taken, in that way ensuring a fair chance for all students before their final grading.

“Persuaded also that Management of the University needs to effect a quick change to redress the problems, make online learning more appealing and exciting to students; and most importantly ensure that final exams are not conducted via a faulty system if a lasting and working solution is not nearly possible.”

Mr Alabi called on the institution’s appropriate authorities “to find provisional solutions that would enable the students and lecturers ease into the online learning system, even if it means adopting a blended system while following all COVID-19 protocols strictly.”

The Representative prayed the house to mandate the institution’s Vice-Chancellor to ensure that the online learning system is “well tested, and meets the minimum standard of what is obtainable in other jurisdictions where an online learning system is a preferred choice.”

The lawmaker also called for continuous training to ensure lecturers utilise new teaching methods to make learning more interactive, just as he urged the house committee on Tertiary Education to ensure compliance.

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