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  -Facility first of its kind in Nigeria

By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo 

The Emir of Zazzau;Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli,  has commissioned ABU CreateView Smart Classroom established at the Department of Computer Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

A statement issued by Auwal Umar of the ABU Public Affairs Directorate,stated that 

the facility, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, is composed of modern electronic devices and software solutions to facilitate and assist in teaching and learning environment.

It is a technology-leveraged teaching – learning system, wherein the teacher is empowered to teach interactively and the student is inspired to learn with a quest for excellence.

The event is the result of the collaboration with the UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovations (UNESCO-ICHEI), Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Shenzhen, China and the Guanzhou CreateView Education Technology Company.

Commissioning the facility at the weekend, His Highness, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, congratulated Ahmadu Bello University on account of being the first institution of higher learning in Nigeria to have such teaching-learning facility.

Emir Bamalli, who appreciated the partners in the project, including UNESCO-ICHEI and CreateView Education Technology Company, which donated the facility, expressed confidence that the electronic device would significantly ease teaching and learning in the University.

The royal father urged the University to take full advantage of the facility to achieve the purpose for which the modern teaching and learning device was established.

The Emir described Zazzau as an ancient kingdom, and therefore, called on UNESCO to declare six centuries-old massive buildings that are still standing right inside the Emir’s Palace in Zaria city as UNESCO heritage site.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, explained that the event was coming at a time when the Senate of Ahmadu Bello University approved the new Teaching and Learning Policy (TLP).

A key aspect of the policy, according to the Vice-Chancellor, was the approval for adoption of Online and Blended Teaching and Learning (OBTL) for the conventional undergraduate and postgraduate studies. 

He stressed that the University was faced with a lot of challenges in terms of funding, facilities, learning and hostel spaces, as well as opportunities for continuous capacity building for teaching and non-teaching staff.

“This is why the University welcomed the invitation by UNESCO-ICHEI and Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) to sign a tripartite MoU in May, 2019, which was subsequently expanded to a four-party MoU in August 2019 to involve CreateView Education Technology Company for the provision of Smart Classroom”, he said. 

The Vice-Chancellor said that the University also signed a Cooperative Framework agreement for the establishment of the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) in October, 2019 which led to its formal launching in December, 2019.

Prof. Bala expressed appreciation to the Hon. Minister of Education and Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) for government’s endorsement of Ahmadu Bello University as IIOE Nigeria National Centre.

He also thanked the Director, UNESCO-ICHEI, Prof. Li Ming and his entire team, particularly Mr. Hassan A. Shehzad, the Smart Classroom (SCR) Project Lead, who successfully supervised the establishment of the facility, and all other partners in the project.

“We value this relationship and are grateful for the infrastructural support in form of the SCR and those expected additional infrastructure to support our status as the National Centre, as well as the capacity building trainings and workshops”, he added.

While assuring that the University would ensure that the facility was maximally utilized, the Vice-Chancellor equally thanked the ABU team who had worked tirelessly to ensure the full realization of the project.

In a brief overview of the project, the Head of Department of Computer Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University and Focal Person for UNESCO-ICHEI in Nigeria, Prof. M.B. Mu’azu, said that the University would look forward to the realization of some other items of the Memorandum of Understanding with Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Shenzhen, China, as restrictions arising from COVID-19 eased.

Goodwill messages were delivered virtually at the well-attended occasion by UNESCO-ICHEI, CreateView Education Technology Company and Chinese Embassy in Nigeria.

His Highness, the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, presented a certificate of appreciation to the SCR Project Lead, Mr. Hassan A. Shehzad, who supervised the project.     

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