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How A Controversial Release Suspended Online Lectures At MAPOLY

Just like every other institution, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic adhered to the directive of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to consider reopening all schools through online platforms (e-learning).

The Minister, who had met with academic boards including Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts, suggested this when he stressed, “the uncertainty on how long the coronavirus [pandemic] will last.”

This development in the educational sector came after the Federal Government closed all institutions, religious organisations, borders and suspended public gatherings following the rise in cases of the coronavirus disease.

Early in May, lecturers in MAPOLY began to engage students at various levels on different social media platforms, allotting times to hold their classes.

The institution’s Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic chapter chairman, Babatunde Osifalujo, confirmed that the school had given a pronouncement to gradually kick start lectures.

Social platforms groups on WhatsApp, Telegram and Zoom were formed and used to engage students, as most of the lectures were either video, recorded voice notes, or interactive sessions with the lecturers.

Another report confirmed that during those scheduled times, attendance was taken on the platforms by the lectures.

Mixed reactions sprouted after the commencement of the e-learning exercise. While some students welcomed the development, others questioned the effectiveness of the programme.

However, after a week of running, the online programme was suspended following a leaked controversial release signed by the ASUP chapter chairman, directing all lecturers to stop engaging students.

It was contained in the release that the Union had sent a letter to the management for possible resolution of challenges on online teaching, as well as suggestions to preparedness for reopening the institution, but no positive response was given.

“The Union therefore in a letter to the office of the Rector dated 29th April 2020 marshalled the challenges that may blight the effectiveness of the online teaching idea. The union is yet to receive the response of the rector on this matter.

“The Union had taken a look at the Federal and Ogun State Governments’ positions in tandem with that of MAPOLY on the resumption of educational institutions at all levels.

“Nevertheless, the union decided to check on the campus on Monday, 11th of May 2020 only to find out that the management is yet to effect its promises to provide specific and required measures in line with the best practices on COVID-19 health protocol and found it regrettable that little or nothing had been done.

“We particularly had expected that prior to the announced date of resumption, the offices and premises on campus would have been fumigated and at least an automated/semi-automated hand-washing machine would have been stationed at the main gate including the Schools and Departmental offices. But to our surprise, there was nothing as such, except for a 5litre plastic bucket with little or no water that attests for the feeble measure taken by the management. It is our candid opinion that the coronavirus is pandemic, and should be approached with serious resolve.”

Osifalujo, who was later contacted for a statement, said: “I never signed or send out any release.”

Reports were gathered that all lectures were suspended after the alleged release by the Union. 

In a recent development, barely 2 months after the suspension, the management of the institution has made all rectifications to recommence the online programme on July 6th, 2020.

The management made this announcement in a press release signed by the polytechnic public relations officer, Yemi Ajibola, saying: “This development was ratified during an extended Management meeting held on Wednesday, 1st July 2020 where considerations were given to peculiar academic matters.

“The e-registration process, which will serve as a requisite for e-learning, will accommodate all categories of students devoid of any physical contacts from Monday, 6th July 2020.”

Ajibola added that the e-learning session would start on “Wednesday, 8th July 2020 via for the next four weeks in continuation of the 2019/2020 academic session’s curricula.

“While, the assessment test will be conducted from Monday, 27th July 2020 in line with the reviewed academic calendar.”

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