10 December 2021 Volume :9 Issue :56

UKZN Academic Recognised for Participation in Africa Universities’ Day Celebrations

UKZN Academic Recognised for Participation in Africa Universities’ Day Celebrations
Professor Vannie Naidoo.

Professor Vannie Naidoo of UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, has received a letter of recognition and appreciation from the Secretary General of the African Association of Universities (AAU) Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole for her participation and contribution as one of the panelists in the Africa Universities’ Day Celebrations 2021, held online recently under the theme: Building Technology-Based Resilient Universities, Now!

The week-long celebration, included stakeholders in Higher Education, government, and business on the African continent.

Said Naidoo: ‘In keeping with the relevance and importance of Africa week celebrations, the continent and its Higher Education academics, experts and stakeholders need to be saluted for bravely adapting to online/ virtual teaching platforms at such an accelerated pace. In spite of critics and Africa always being labelled as lagging behind in technology, African universities worked tirelessly in 2020-2021 and adapted their teaching where possible to online/ virtual classroom modes.

‘The accelerated pace of moving from the traditional to a virtual classroom was a very stressful time for all academics, students and other stakeholders in Higher Education. The move to virtual online platforms of teaching and learning transpired due to continued quarantine and lockdown restrictions being imposed. The only way forward for the University’s academic programmes during a vicious and deadly COVID-19 pandemic that affected not just Africa, but the whole world, was to migrate to online learning.’

Naidoo said online learning had been underutilised in the past, especially in developing countries in Africa, however, the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had forced the entire world to rely on it for education delivery.

‘The playing fields in Higher Education have drastically changed in the current climate, and technology can be seen as a positive step towards digital evolution for society, especially during the recent pandemic. Fostering collaborations between different universities in various African regions has allowed Higher Education leadership and experts, researchers and other Higher Education stakeholders to discuss their challenges of migrating to online learning platforms. This type of dialogue celebrated by the African Association of Universities and its members and invited guests from the African continent can only strengthen African universities as they learn from each other by sharing knowledge on COVID-19, technology adaptation and through meeting challenges associated with online learning.’

Words: NdabaOnline

Photograph: Supplied

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