The Vice-chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Prof. Kolawole Salako has said the institution is fully ready for resumption and to commence academic activities earlier than January 18 stipulated by the National Universities Commission.
He disclosed this while briefing journalists on Tuesday, on the preparedness of the institution to receive students back to school in the face of the second wave of COVID-19.
Prof. Salako disclosed that the institution would adopt hybrid method of teaching – physical and virtual classes, not only to ensure compliance with the COVID –19 guidelines but also to make room for a speedy academic calendar that could clear the backlog of outstanding sessions, including the 2019/2020 session that is just commencing.
He assured that the university has enough internet-based facilities and physical structures to implement the hybrid method that entails virtual learning and physical teaching.
Prof. Salako noted that the nation’s public universities face a dicey situation, as they currently had to contend with the challenges of having backlog of unfinished academic sessions due to the Academic Staff Union of Universities strike, and it could be compounded if the Non -Academic Staff Union of Universities and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, carried out their strike threat.
The don who equally expressed concern that the leadership of the FUNAAB branch of ASUU could tell the public that the institution was not yet ready for resumption given the realities of COVID- 19, said adequate arrangements had been put in place to address all issues pertaining to COVID -19 protocols.
He said: “This University has enough internet-based facilities and physical structures to do a combination of virtual learning as well as physical teaching that would be hybrid in nature given the realities of COVID 19 and we are fully implementing all protocols spelt out by the NCDC.
“It is laughable when certain academic staff say FUNAAB cannot handle online classes whereas it is on record that the University did virtual learning for pupils of our primary school and even our secondary school while we even used our FUNAAB Radio to relay online lectures.
“I think it is about time that our academics woke up to the new reality. Even some state universities have already started online teaching. We have all it takes for our students to excel through the various platforms that we have set up.
“And, I believe our lecturers are fully ready. It is only a handful of them involved in discrediting the university. As far as I am concerned, there is no course that cannot be taught online.”