- For us the transition to online teaching and learning was not just a reaction to Covid-19
- It was an opportunity to accelerate what has been a 10-year project
The Covid-19 pandemic has tested and stretched institutions in Kenya and all over the world. Institutions and companies have had to re-engineer their business models to re-establish themselves, win over market confidence or just survive.
Learning institutions were among the first to suffer severe disruptions when the government announced the closure of schools, colleges and universities to maintain physical distance as part of its measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Kenya. Institutions had to innovate to stay in business. Social distancing, working from home and virtual meetings became the new norm.
As institutions of higher learning scrambled to transition to virtual learning platforms, Africa Nazarene University had the advantage of having had 10 years of experience with Online Distance learning through our Institute of Open Distance Education and Learning (ODEL).
As a result of this investment, the transition to virtual learning at Africa Nazarene University was largely a smooth process and this helped to make ANU one of the first institutions to make the transition to virtual learning. So, for us the transition to online teaching and learning was not just a reaction to Covid-19, but an opportunity to accelerate what has been a 10-year project.
Our online pivoting is informed by our broader strategic outlook, which is to provide our quality education to our students anywhere, anytime so that their whole education experience is learner centred.
As we cast our eyes beyond the uncertainties of Covid-19, we envision an effective higher education learning experience that will be blended, with some courses taught through our virtual learning platform and some offered on campus through contact teaching and learning. This is particularly important for us because our students are not only here in Kenya but across the African continent.
As we cast our eyes beyond the uncertainties of Covid-19, we envision an effective higher education learning experience that will be blended, with some courses taught through our virtual learning platform and some offered on campus through contact teaching and learning.
As we look forward the start of the September 2020 semester and beyond, we assure all our students, partners and stakeholders that we remain focused on investing in both our faculty and our online learning infrastructure so our students have the same learning experience regardless of the mode of learning they are on across all programmes and levels.
The response of our faculty and staff to the realities of online learning has been amazing and it is the foundation of the progress we have made so far and the confidence we have in the future efficacy of online teaching and learning.
Like all progressive education stakeholders, we are concerned with ensuring equal access for all who desire to acquire the Christian Liberal Arts Education that ANU offers. In this regard our resolve as a University within the context of institution is to continue to seek out strategic partners who value social equity to partner with us in making access to technology and internet possible for our students.
When our Senate took a decision to conduct all teaching and learning for our May 2020 trimester for instance, we offered free data bundles to all students transitioning to virtual learning as a demonstration of our commitment to the principle of equal education for all. This free data offer will be extended to all our students for the September 2020 Semester.
Besides free data bundles for students, we are also mindful of the fact that these are unprecedented times for all of us, especially our students who are faced with new stresses and anxieties arising out of the prolonged uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic in addition to the normal youthful stresses that they would ordinarily face. The University has increased processes of online engagement and counseling to support student wellness during these difficult times.
Finally, let me welcome all our new and continuing students to what promises to be an exciting virtual September 2020 Semester, our faculty and staff are looking forward to welcoming you. The vibe and energy I feel around me is exiting and I hope that inspires you as you start your registration processes.
Vice chancellor, Africa Nazarene University (a Christian nonprofit fully charted private university)