At a time most universities are shut down and students are at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Admiralty University of Nigeria, Ogwashi-Uku-Ibusa, Delta State, is applying technology to virtually stay in session to neutralise the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on academic activities.
The university management insisted that academic activities must go on in order not to disrupt the calendar by deploying latest online technologies and application to bridge the gap.
Last weekend, it held a virtual matriculation ceremony where its newly admitted students all over the country were virtually present at the ceremony held inside the university auditorium, using the Zoom application, which was developed for multiple conferencing.
Also, last Monday the university began a virtual online semester examination in which all the students from the three faculties and 13 departments would write their examinations from home and would be assessed using a unique software known as ‘Class Marker’, which has inbuilt securities against malpractices.
The vice chancellor, Prof. Paul Omojo Omoji said the university decided to deploy the technologies because it needed to ensure that COVID -19 pandemic did not slow down academic pace, plans and destinies of the students.
According to Prof. Omoji, Admiralty is the first or second institution in the country to hold virtual matriculation ceremony and examinations because the school wanted to set standards, prove its uniqueness and circumvent the effects of coronavirus.
He said, “Everyone is at liberty to be concerned that students are going to sit for examinations away from the university, how would you ensure there would be no examination malpractices? The software we have chosen, Class Marker, has got so many inbuilt securities, and the questions are structured in such a way that you only open one page at a time. One page may contain only two questions, if a foolish student wants to look around to get people to help out, by the time they come to help the page has gone to the next one.
“Secondly, we have what we call invigilation by zoom application. So all the students are going to be on zoom, and there will be examination task force monitoring. We have told them that looking left or right while writing the exam would constitute examination malpractice. Everyone is going to be monitored. Not many universities have tried this before, we have gone an extra mile, there is a university that conducted exams on-line, it used Zoom. This institution has gone an extra mile to ensure that the integrity of this university is not compromised”, Prof. Omoji said.
Although the university is the first of its kind in the country to be established by the Nigerian Navy and an international partner, the vice chancellor said the school is a conventional university and open to the general public.
He said the university presently has three faculties namely the faculty of science, management sciences and the faculty of arts and social sciences, adding that faculties of Engineering, Medicine, Law, Marine Sciences amongst others would takeoff at due time.
The VC also hinted of plans by the institution to introduce naval education sciences to resonate with the uniqueness of the Nigerian Navy,
On the issue of accreditation, the vice chancellor said the management is already preparing to get all the necessary equipment and staff to ensure a hitch-free accreditation for all the courses.
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