EBSU e-learning now ready, students reopen soon - VC


By Victor Nwegede

The Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Elder Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, said the varsity's e-learning platform is ready for use.

Prof. Ogbu made this known on Friday in an interview with newsmen at the permanent site of the university, Ezzamgbo. 

He stated that, "the platform for e-learning with the ICT directorates is ready."

He added that the varsity staff had received training on the e-learning platform with students undergoing the process to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic raging globe does not cut the  academic programme of the institution.

"We have been using it, the staff were trained. We've been training our students. We invested alot to achieve that. So, we have platform for e-learning developed by ICT directorates and we are working towards that development", he said.

The VC advised the students of the institution to be steadfast with their studies, saying that the varsity could be reopened any moment from now despite the challenges facing the school.

"Though, we are in difficulties times because of COVID-19, students should be able to keep themselves reading. They shouldn't go and forget that they are students. They should keep reading. School will be reopening soon or later. Those who have not paid their school fees should try and pay because that make you a student. We equally assure that we are preparing for them to come back", he added. 

He also harped on the state governor's request for a certain percentage of the staff's  salaries  to be sacrificed to enable his government pay all the varsity workforce.

Ogbu noted that the situation in the country today contributed to the governor's request, urging the university staff to accept the pay-cut instead of risking being laid off from service.

"The narration is that you all understand the situation we are in Nigeria today. Things are so hard, even the Federal and state governments, all hands have to come together to calm the situation down. They all revised their budgets for the year, because of the circumstances. In a situation like this, there are  dependents on the state government on funding and it is definitely affected by it. We are saying instead of laying off people, we have to make sacrifice of some percentage of their salaries for something is better than nothing. Instead of not be able to get salary, let a decision be made to continue to pay them. It is the circumstance made the Government to request,  and we have been dialoguing with the staff to understand the need to make that sacrifice.

"Nobody as a staff will like pay-cut from his or her salary but in reality, if is not done with cut, nothing will be paid at all since what is there, will not be enough to go round. That's why we didn't do anything. It is better what is there will be shared among everybody rather than nothing. It is the discretion of the staff obviously is something you cannot understand", he noted.

While responding to a rumour saying the varsity staff earn the least payment among the whole state universities of the Federation, he described it as the highest falsehood and cleared that the academic staff of the university carry much work-loads because of under-staffing while the non-academic side is over-staffing, believing that natural attrition would address the latter to boost productivity.

"It is a falsehood of the highest order, that EBSU is the least paid among the whole state universities in the Federation. The salary of the staff here is the same with the salary of the staff in the  Federal universities. Whoever that is making such rumour should be seen as a person spreading falsehood. 

"The Governor has made this clear, that the non-academic staff were over employed for one reason or the other. But on the academic side, we are very under-staffed, and lecturers are taking care of alot of courses and that means they over-labour themselves.

"The university being over-staffed is very clear but the over-staffing is the non-academic side, and the academic side is running shortage of staff.

"The people who are surplus in the system take very hard to be productive. If you have over staffing, the productivity will not be quite there, and you will be spending money, for something one person can do, about three will be there. So, we are paying three people for one job. It is disadvantageous to every organization that has over staffing. 

"We are still dialoguing on this issue of the over-staffing and we are yet to take decision. But there are natural attritions of staff; people retire,  people leave, among others", he hinted 

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