The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) played host to a team from the Association of African Universities (AAU) who visited the Centre on Thursday, 2nd February 2023, at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) headquarters, Abuja.
The AAU team paid a special IT Project Verification visit to ACETEL, to verify installed ICT facilities, deployed Metro–Campus5-Kilometer Fibre 12 Core 1GBPS Internet Facility and e-Library resources at the University Main Campus.
Prof. Jokthan led the team to the Vice chancellor’s (VC) office and the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC), Technology Innovation and Research (TIR) office.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters welcomed the team and commended them for their support to the university.
While addressing them, he said the university is benefitting from the contribution they have made by providing internet connectivity for the university.
The VC told them that he had inspected the newly installed IT facilities around the university campus and he assured them that they are satisfactory.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Technology, Innovation and research (TIR) Prof. Monioluwa Olaniyi also received the team when they visited her office, while commending Prof. Jokthan, she said Jokthan and her team have been contributing immensely to the development of the university.
Addressing the AAU team, Prof. Olaniyi told them that NOUN has an IT committee that oversee the technology activities in the university which she chairs. “you know we are largely driven by technology”. She said.
She noted that Prof. Jokthan by virtue of her role in ACETEL, as the Director, is a member of the university’s IT committee.
“Also at that committee we get audits of the activities of each of our units, ACETEL has contributed greatly to that committee”
Ms. Irene from AAU, intimated Prof. Peters of her teams visit, noting that they want to ensure that the university has a stable internet connection, as the university runs on internet connectivity.
While at the DVC “TIR’s” office, Ms. Irene explained that her team is on the verification visit not to penalize but to help NOUN generally and not only ACETEL, to ensure that every part of the university is connected.
Earlier, at the team’s arrival, the Director of ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, received and welcomed the team at the ACETEL Conference room, where she briefed them about the newly installed plasma Television, which she said have been installed in all the Faculties of the University campus to enable facilitators have a wider reach of students and easily interact with them where ever they are.
She told them that “we are in the process of moving the Directorate of Learning Content Management System (DLCMS) from the present place, because they are sharing a building with the Media but given the importance of that Directorate in the university, a whole building is being dedicated to that, it is actually at the finishing stage it is the same building that will host our C-code studios”.
“We felt that it will not be good to put it there and in the next month we are moving them again, so we just mounted it in our CISCO Lab”.
The AAU team members took turns to ask the ACETEL ICT officers some technical questions regarding the internet connection in the centre, to ascertain the number of times internet connection has been interrupted, in order for them to be able to help curb the problem.
AAU/ World Bank Consultant, Mr. Adaji Peter, asked to know how often the centre has witnessed the lack of internet network. Other members of the team, Ms. Irene Dufoe Addai from (AAU), Abednego Corteley from (AAU), Abeaku Badu Arthur, consultant, asked the IT officers questions on the strength of the internet connection available in the centre.
The ACETEL ICT Officer, Abu Abubakar and Tijani Vappa who represented the Director of ICT and Coordinator, Artificial Intelligence ACETEL, Prof. Greg Onwodi, fielded various questions from the AAU team, which they tackled brilliantly by providing answers on the challenges the centre has encountered on different occasion that need to be rectified.
They cited instances where network has been obstructed, due to some company’s construction work where the internet fibre cables are laid.
They told the team that internet modems are made available to facilitators whenever network is not available.
The AAU team toured the Directorate of Information Technology (DICT), the Directorate of Learning Content Management System (DLCMS) and the NOUN Library to check the IT facilities on ground and to ascertain the level of functionality.
The Directors of ICT and DLCMS and the University Librarian received the team respectively at their centres showing them their IT facilities and the effective functionality of the equipment.
Mr. Adaji Peter, after verifying the IT facilities with his team, said he was impressed by what he saw, he also highlighted some equipment that will be provided for ACETEL in order to improve internet accessibility at the centre.
This is part of the team’s effort to contribute to the smooth running of activities in ACETEL and NOUN in general.
Other members of the AAU team comprise of the representative of the world Bank consultant and Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).