UR Asks Students To Use Covid-19 Restrictions To Learn English

A UR Building in University of Science and Technology. Photo Internet

University of Rwanda (UR) has advised students to use the Covid-19 quarantine time to identify their weaknesses and strength and work hard to improve written and spoken English language, as well as an understanding of ‘hard English’.

The statement asking students to improve their written and spoken English language was released by UR on Tuesday 24.

“By now you should be able to identify your weakeness and strength in English and use this time to challenge yourself and others to create opportunities for improving written and spoken English, as well as understanding hard English,” part of the communiqué reads.

“You should keep sharing progress with your peers at UR and with friends who you share similar programs in other institutions, and if you live with other friends you can begin to teach and test one another while observing the government guidelines for social distancing to prevent Covid-19,” the communiqué signed by Prof. Phillip Cotton, vice-chancellor of UR reads.

After the Covid-19 oubreak in Rwanda on March 14, the education ministry directed all schools and public institutions to close their operations and send home all students to prevent further spread of the virus.

“However, we recognize that you are keen to get resources and start learning new things,” the communiqué reads.

To access learning materials, UR is in the final touches of upgrade and upload learning materials on the e-learning system where students can access them online using computers, laptops, telephones, and tablets.

The learning materials to be uploaded on the e-learning platform include module description, presentation slides, handouts, notes, and key readings. Students will be registered by technical staff for each module to be able to access the uploaded learning material in the academic program.

“UR faculty and technical staff are working to ensure that all the modules offered in all academic programs are upgraded and uploaded on our e-learning platform,” The communiqué reads.

However, the university management says that not every student can afford self-learning (online) because of failure to get computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. For that case all lecturers will resume teaching where they stopped after the epidemic(Covid-19).

“This is to make sure that there is no disadvantage and advantage to those who got learning materials online and the ones that did not,” according to the communiqué.

However, the communiqué does not state when learning materials will be uploaded on the e-learning system for students to access them.

“Some of the tertiary institutions have basic requirements to start online teaching, and they are doing it, but those without should also get a lesson from this epidemic,” The Director-General of Higher Education Council, Dr. Rose Mukankomeje told KT Press.

“They should start thinking about having similar online programs.”

Other universities offering e-learning systems include Carnegie Melon University (CMU), African Leadership School of Business (ALUSB) and Oklahoma Christian University.

To have e-learning at any university it requires following E-learning and management information system, instructional designers, trained staff on e-leaning system, computers, among others.

For secondary and primary schools, on Friday 20 Rwanda Education Board (REB) said that it is encouraging students to use eLearning aide and stay updated with their studies.




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