Dr. Muligande allays fears over internet access for UR students amidst shift to e-learning

Dr. Charles Muligande- the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Institutional Advancement of the University of Rwanda (UR), on March 23, calmed fears over internet affordability for UR students to access e-learning materials amidst coronavirus pandemic.

After learning of the UR’s plan to shift to e-learning due to COVID-19 break as part of the Ministry of Health’s efforts to curb the spread of the outbreak, students decried the expensive prices of connectivity in Rwanda among other concerns.

Through the state’s radio, Dr. Muligande revealed that UR is going to negotiate with Internet providers to make their packages more affordable to UR students.

This -the Deputy Vice Chancellor added- is in a bid to facilitate access to the the e-learning platform which is resourceful.

According to UR officials, the faculty is currently uploading all teaching materials online.

Being asked about the timeline, Dr. Muligande responded that students shouldn’t feel pressured as “upon resuming normal classes, lecturers would have to do a quick recap for some who may have not had the chance with e-learning to catch up.

“Therefore, exams won’t be taken immediately.”

Students urged to collaborate

In a letter to students signed by the university’s Vice Chancellor, Phillip Cotton, students were encouraged to collaborate, read available studying materials and communicate amongst themselves regarding studies.

The communiqué also stressed that the break can serve as a self-reflective time to identify one’s strength and weaknesses and work on them.

The University of Rwanda’s staff had up until March 20th to have uploaded modules and studying materials on the university’s E-learning platform. However, students had expressed their skepticism on the effectiveness of the new strategy.

“Today is the 24th, studying materials should be available by now but for instance in my class, almost all of them cannot login to the platform, we do not know what is wrong yet,” Paul Rwigema, a third year student says.

Rwanda as of lately counts 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients. Recently, the government instituted a countrywide lockdown, banning unnecessary movements and urging people to stay at home among other measures.

Globally, over 390,000 people have been infected with coronavirus while the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 17,000 individuals.