Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) Vice-Chancellor George Kanyama Phiri has said online lessons that schools are offering in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic have exposed the country’s deficiencies in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Phiri made the remarks in his presentation in a virtual Global and Continental Partnerships and Collaboration in Higher Education Post Covid-19 meeting organised by Alliance for African Partnership (AAP).
“The pandemic exposed the need for ICT infrastructure, hardware and data; student access to laptops or tablets, access to internet data; intermittent internet connectivity; intermittent electricity supply in rural areas for charging the gadgets and lack of conducive study environments at home.
“There are also faculty and infrastructure challenges. A significant proportion of faculty members were also proficient in online/virtual instruction and assessment university policies and regulations that do not provide for full time online learning,” Phiri said.
He then called for concerted efforts from both the public and the private sectors in improving the country’s ICT system.
“The impact of Covid-19 transcends the health sector, so various university faculties can take part. The effects and implications of Covid-19 are evolving fast and universities cannot afford to conduct business at pre-pandemic pace,” Phiri said.
The meeting by AAP was conducted in partnership with the African Studies Centre o f Michigan State University, to interact with leaders from across the continent to discuss how their institutions will handle partnerships and collaboration in a post-pandemic world.
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