By Alex Uangbaoje,
As part of its effort to make developing economies, destination for research, innovation and training by 2020, Information and Communication Technology University (ICT-U), State of Louisiana, USA on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the Kaduna State University (KASU) to empower the University with ICT infrastructure development.
Speaking with journalists immediately after signing the MoU, Professor Victor Mbarika, President, Board of Trustees, ICT-U, said the agreement between the two Universities will provide e-learning and e-library services to students of the institution.
According to him, the facilities will cost his organization an average of $250,000, which is about 90 million naira, adding, “the average cost of e-learning and e-library centre is about $250,000 and so we are exited that many of our funding organisations in the United States and other countries around the world are chipping in to make this happen.
Professor Mbarika, noted that his organization will not waste time in the delivery of the equipments, saying “we should have the commissioning within the next two months maximum. The shipment will take place probably in the next two to three weeks as soon as I head back to the US I will give the order.
“The intervention will last for five year and it is renewable. The students will have full access to their courses online and we are not just talking about their assignments, we are talking about real time teaching online. We are setting up what we are giving in such that while the lecturers are teaching, the students can see it themselves. So it will benefit the students a lot.
“Their assignments can be download from the system, they can have discussion group on the system and interact with one another. It is a great interactive system that we are providing here. They will be able to download books on their phones, iPads, laptops and all that thereby making learning available to them always wherever they are.
“We have built our system so they can run in low bandwidth areas where their internet is not stable or as fast as other countries where Nigeria fits well. Most African students cannot afford textbooks if they are to buy five in a semester. So, they will be getting free download in PDF format and can use anywhere.”
He added that ICT-U have been providing such services in developing world include Africa and KASU is the next on the line they are donating the e-centre to.
“Our great institution already has a great reputation in higher education space in Nigeria and Africa and KASU has a good reputation in terms of research science and technology. We are not starting anything new that they have not already laid the foundation for it. So, the number one reason it is an outstanding institution and we have always have interest in equipping higher institution that is very serious.
On his part, Vice Chancellor of KASU, Professor Tanko Muhammad, commended the America University for her intervention, adding, “the signing is about empowering the university in terms of infrastructure so once we start and feel we are okay, we will complete the exercise.
He said, the population of KASU is an asset that the ICT-U, will greatly benefit from when the KASU uses it’s services, saying, “so we have the need for their service and at the end, we will be providing a segment of the deal while they provide other services. Kaduna government is helping to finance the MoU.