NEW YEAR MESSAGE OF THE VICE-CHANCELLOR, PROFESSOR ABDUL-RASHEED NA’ALLAH
My dear University Community,
I like to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2021! I must thank you all for your great efforts in ensuring that despite all difficulties, we ended 2020 well and became much stronger as a University.
2020 saw us all confronted with the coronavirus pandemic. Some of our staff and students died, many of us lost loved ones to death in natural, sickness and accident circumstances, and towards the end of December 2020, we also lost our Pioneer Vice Chancellor, Professor Isa Baba Mohammed, may God forgive him his sins and bless him with al-jannat.
Yet, 2020 saw many remarkable successes for our University to which we must thank God. In the same 2020, University of Abuja academic staff received external research grants to the tune of about N704 million. Also in 2020, our University received an infrastructure grant from Tetfund of N5 Billion to construct a new Senate Building, an International Conference Centre and road and landscaping and part of our fencing. The UofA also now has Abuja Leadership Centre which is a Tetfund Centre of Excellence in Public Governance and Leadership, with an initial N1 Billion grant.
Also in the same 2020, the Federal Government of Nigeria released N1 Billion to the University of Abuja for fencing of our campus, and the Federal Executive Council in its most recent meeting approved the fencing contract for the University of Abuja for that amount. These are only very few of those great stories that our University brought forward to 2021 from 2020!
The University of Abuja is also the first Federal University in 2020 to develop a Virtual Classroom system, and through a pilot program, has been teaching classes since April/May 2020 to close to 5, 000 students on it. My dear great UofA, it is incumbent on our University NOT to lose this advantage of being the first in this endeavor. The truth is that the UofA of Nigeria is fully ready to help and assist any Nigerian university that needs our guidance in developing their own virtual classroom system!
I appeal to ALL academic staff without exception to migrate to the Virtual Classroom system without delay! Be the first to do it, don’t wait for another person! It is easy, it is simple, and the ITMS will assist every lecturer that needs help. Do not wait for ITMS to come to you or call you, go to them to ask for help to migrate!
Already, ITMS has announced a series of workshops to take academic staff through the use of UniAbuja Virtual Classroom. Video clips would also be circulated by ITMS, which will demonstrate to academic staff the simple way to get this done.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have an answer to those who have asked, “how does a lecturer get registered students into the virtual classes?”
The UniAbuja Virtual Classroom system is linked to the UniAbuja Integrated Portal. Staff do not have to do anything since every lecturer was already assigned his or her course at the beginning of the academic year by his or her Head of Department. Students also do not have to do anything since they registered for their courses during the course registration period. Once a lecturer migrates a particular course to the Virtual Classroom system, all the students registered in that course would automatically migrate with the course and would automatically have access to the course virtually and the lecturers have access to the students virtually. No one needs to do anything else! Just continue teaching and learning!
I am also happy to inform you all that the University Senate on December 30, 2020, unanimously approved a revised Calendar for the remaining of 2019/2020 Academic Year, and also revised 2020/2021 calendar. The Senate fixed a tentative date for resumption of classes with the hope that Coronavirus pandemic would ease and the Federal Government would direct the reopening of the University. Here, see below the revised calendar for the remaining part of 2019-2020 Academic Session:
2019/2020 SESSION (Revised Calendar)
Due to Coronavirus pandemic, the 2019/2020 academic session which started normally had to be abandoned for lockdown and eventual ASUU strike. This calendar provides an opportunity to complete the academic year and also catch up on the 2020/2021 Academic Year.
First Semester, 2019/2020
Friday 20th December, 2019 – Student Registration online begins
Monday 13th January, 2020 – Classes begin
Thursday – Friday, January 16-17, 2020 – New Student Orientation
Monday 20th January, 2020 – STUDENTS REGISTRATION ENDS
Saturday 22nd February, 2020 – 2019/2020 Convocation Ceremony
Thursday – Friday 5th-6th March, 2020 – Mid-Term Break
Monday 9th to Wednesday 13th March 2020 – Add and Drop
Tuesday 17th March, 2020 – UNDERGRADUATE MATRICULATION DAY/CEREMONY ***
January 4, 2021 to January 29, 2021: Academic Staff to explore virtual classroom teaching
February 1, 2020: Physical Classes resume, Arrangements to observe COVID 19 Regulations and Announcements by the Federal Government
February 12, 2021: 2019/2020 First Semesters Classes End
February 15, 2021 to February 26, 2021; Final Examination, First Semester, 2019/2020 Session
Monday March 22, 2021: All First Semester Grades Uploaded and submitted to the HODs by 12 noon.
Tuesday March 23, 2021: Faculty Boards’ Meeting to Approve Grades by 4.00PM
Thursday March 25, 2021: SBC meeting on Grades by 10.00AM
Monday March 29, 2021: Senate Meeting to Approve Grades by 10 am
Tuesday March 30, 2021: Electronic Release of First Semester’s GRADES, 12 noon
Second Semester, 2019/2020
Monday March 1, 2021: 2019/2020 Second Semester 2019/20 Classes begin
Monday March 1, 2021: Add and Drop Begins
March 16, 2021: Add and Drop Ends
Friday May 7, 2021: Second Semester 2019/20 Classes End
Monday 10th to Saturday 22 May 2021: Final Examinations
Wednesday May 26, 2021: Second Semester Final Grades Upload and Submitted to HOD by 12 noon
Thursday May 27, 2021: Faculty Boards’ Meeting to Approve Grades by 4.00PM
Saturday May 29, 2021: SBC Meeting on Grades by 10 am
Tuesday June 1, 2021: Senate Meeting to approve grades
Wednesday June 2, 2021: Electronic Release of Final GRADES to students by 12 noon
Saturday July 12, 2021: 2019/2020 Convocation Ceremony
Again, this is a plan by the University Senate to ensure that when hopefully the Federal Government reopens the Universities, the University of Abuja is ready to proceed, and where, God forbid, the coronavirus pandemic continues to bite, the Virtual Classroom system would be available for lecturers to continue their classes.
Please, do your best to support your University in this new year. Continue to uplift yourself and to achieve greatness and progress. The greatness of the UofA depends on your own greatness. With your determination, the University of Abuja will continue to excel this year!
We are strengthening our technology infrastructure, as the Internet fibre is being laid across the campus right now and is almost completed. A contract would soon be signed with GLO to supply Internet so that every part of campus is covered. Computer laboratories are in the process of being established all over the campus, and more!
The truth is that the University Management understands the new reality that students and staff face with Coronavirus pandemic and with the advent of the migration to Virtual Teaching/Learning. The University will continue to explore new ways of strengthening staff and students to make all this easier and comfortable. Please do not hesitate to send me personal emails if you have some ideas and suggestions, or if you have any questions to ask.
Again, all my best wishes in the new year, and thank you for your kind attention.