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The Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria has commissioned a technology-leveraged teaching and learning system, Smart Classroom, at the Department of Computer Engineering of the institution.

Smart Classroom comprises modern electronic devices and software solutions wherein the teacher is empowered to teach interactively.

The facility, which is the first of a kind in Nigeria, is a 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, the emir of Zazzau, Ahmad Bamalli, lauded the initiative, expressing confidence that the facility would significantly ease teaching and learning in the university.

While commending the partners in the project, the monarch urged the university to take full advantage of the facility to achieve the purpose for which it was established.

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 the university approved the new Teaching and Learning Policy, TLP,

According to the V-C, a key aspect of the policy 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.

Mr Bala commended the Minister of Education and Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, for the government’s endorsement of the university as IIOE Nigeria National Centre.

“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 training 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.