By Patrick Obia and Kelvin Ololo
Barring any change, students of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) will continue academic activities tomorrow, February 1, 2021 for the 2019/2020 academic session after a hiatus of nearly one year.
The break was due to an industrial action by academic staff and the COVID-19 pandemic.
And, as public Universities reopen across the country, there have been concerns about how institutions will catch up with academic calendars and guidelines set by the National Universities Commission (NUC) while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
According to NUC guidelines, each semester is supposed to last a minimum of 16 weeks, but with varsities still in the 2019/2020 session, some are devising means to achieve that.
For instance, at the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) where academic activities have since resumed in a phased approach, the management is insisting on everyone playing their part to ensure the academic calendar is adhered to.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Augustine Angba had warned staff during a training to desist from acts that will delay activities.
A statement by the Varsity’s media team quotes Angba telling staff during a training on virtual learning on Friday, January 22, 2021 that: “In terms of marking scripts and submitting results, please don’t be queried for missing deadlines. Those who submit before deadline will always be encouraged to do better.”
He described that habit as mischievous, adding that the habit gets particularly inexcusable when it leads to loss of examination scripts as it reportedly does, sometimes.
And, on abiding by COVID-19 mitigation protocols set by the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, the management also sensitized students in their roles in order to a high threshold in infection prevention and control.
“CRUTECH must brace up because some students are returning from high prevalence foci such as Lagos and Abuja and the new virus is violent and dangerous so all the preventive measures should be strictly adhered to,” said Professor Emmanuel Uttah, the Chairman, CRUTECH central covid-19 committee at the orientation exercise on Thursday in Calabar.
He continued; “face mask must be worn to avoid the spread and contact of aerosol at all times except when alone, physical distancing of about 2 meters should be observed, infrared thermometer will be used to check temperature students must practise effective hand washing under running water and avoid crowded areas as social distancing doesn’t cover sneezing, coughing and breathing.”
Uttah disclosed that the Varsity had inaugurated a team of health marshalls to effect the protocols.
Angba, while addressing the students urged them to behave in a way that will portray a positive image of the institution.
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