Coronavirus scare: Universities suspend face-to-face lectures …lecturers engage students online

Universities across the country have suspended face-to-face lectures and other gatherings on campus, following directives by the President to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The management of the University of Ghana suspended lectures last Sunday and banned non-residential students from entering the campus until further notice, after one of the students was confirmed to have been infected with the COVID-19.

The maiden International Mathematics Day scheduled to be observed in the university last Saturday was cancelled, following directives from the university authorities.

Though no other university has recorded any confirmed case, the authorities have decided to strictly abide by the directive as contained in the Presidential edict last Sunday, as a measure to help forestall outbreak and spread of the disease among students on campus.

A statement from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) sighted by the Ghanaian Times said academic work were to be conducted online following the suspension of face-to-face lectures.

The statement  urged the students to “use the next four weeks as vacation time and  also to prepare  for this by obtaining electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and smart cellular phones, as well as internet or mobile data”.

“Students will be informed by their respective Deans and Heads of Departments how to train and prepare for online lectures,” the statement added.

The statement, however, said the GIMPA maintained a “skeletal staff presence” on campus, adding that Deans, Heads of Department would report on a daily basis and that essential staff like security and health would report on daily basis.

“The presence of administrative staff including school and office holders shall be determined by the Deans and Directors of each school and directorate,” the statement said, adding that   “GIMPA will continue to monitor the health situation closely, drawing on national policies on virus containment, and shall keep all stakeholders updated.”

A check with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Public Affairs Department indicated that the university has suspended face-to-face lectures, as well as public gatherings on campus, while maintaining administrative staff.

A source told the Ghanaian Times that the lecturers continued “to engage the students in academic work, through social media and online”.

Similarly, the University of Cape Coast has suspended lectures until further notice.

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