Some students of the University of Lagos, Akoka, have complained over their inability to access online lectures while residing on campus.
The students who spoke to with the press on condition of anonymity were mostly 100-level students in the Faculty of Science.
They said their classes were above the 300 capacity required for a zoom meeting, saying they usually missed the lectures when the class got to the 300 limit.
Investigations also revealed that these students who were found in the Medical and Biological sciences usually spent their data to access the classes while on campus.
Recall that UNILAG asked the students to resume on May 8, 2021.
A 100 level student in the department of Pharmacy said, “I have not been able to attend any lecture online since we resumed because whenever I tried to join, the class would have reached the 300 limits. We do not know the reason they asked us to resume but conducting online classes for us. Electricity to power phones and laptops is not even available, we always have power supply between 8 pm and 8 am only.”
Speaking on how she got the missed classes, she explained, “We always wait for those who attended the classes to share the screenshots of the slides or their jottings. I am not happy at all, I have not been able to attend any class since we resumed in May. All our classes are online.”
Another student in the Department of Dentistry also told our correspondent that most times, the network was usually poor and lecturers would angrily cancel the class.
She said, “We have not been having physical classes, we are so many in the College of Medicine so we were all merged to do zoom classes. You might not be able to attend the class if you don’t log in early. The lecturers might just cancel the class too if he gets angry due to poor network or students not muting their microphones. We are using our data, they do not give us access to wifi; the wifi in the hostel is not working. If it is efficient, one will be able to read after the meeting but most times, we don’t have anything to read.”
However, Director, Centre for Information Technology and System in the university, Dr Florence Oladeji in an interview with our correspondent, said the students were asked to observed the virtual class while on campus because of the announcement that there would likely be a second wave of COVID-19.
She said the UNILAG management did not want to send the students, hence, the need to observe virtual classes due to their population which exceeded a COVID-19 class guideline.
“When we got the wind that there will likely be a second wave of COVID-19, we did not want to send them home, the management said if they were above 50 in a class they should do virtual classes. We are accessing the population every week as they register.”
She revealed that a class of over 300 students could not join the zoom room because of their lecturer’s inability to stream on YouTube for the extra students, adding that the lecturers and technologists would be trained on how to blend zoom classes with YouTube for more accessibility.
She said, “We have been doing streaming and the university just bought 2,400 zoom licenses. With the zoom, we can take 100,000 students. They are supposed to stream it on YouTube. It is the lecturers who are not able to stream live. Only 300 are supposed to be in zoom class, others will be on YouTube live. “We are starting training for our technologists who will now help lecturers to set up their classes with the YouTube appropriately. Lecturers will be trained too by next week.”