The first case of COVID-19 reported in Kenya in the month of March saw the closure of schools on March 16th this year forcing students to vacate all learning institutions. The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has prompted schools to be adoptive in the use of technology to ensure their learners can still continue with their education albeit digitally. The University of Nairobi reacted swiftly moving all courses onto the online platforms and conducted virtual classes. So far, 5500 of these classes have been held in the course of the semester.
To this effective the University partnered with Telkom Kenya to provide free data bundles dubbed "Tusome bundles" for faculty and students to facilitate online learning. Of course there were hitches such as poor connection that was solved by providing these students with playback lecture videos and course-ware packages. There has been lots of training on how to access journals and the library remotely to utilize these resources fully.
All these efforts led to the UoN on Tuesday 26th May 2020, managing to conduct its first ever end of semester online exam, such a historic event. The university’s management stated that more than 20 students pursuing Master of Arts in Environmental Law and Master of Arts in Environmental Policy sat their examinations from the comfort of their homes.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama noted that the mechanisms that had been put in place ensured the quality of the online exams was not compromised in any way. Dr. Collins Odote, the Director, Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) said that Google platforms was used to administer the exams, first step was the use of Google classroom to see them, then second step Google meet to monitor and invigilate the process.
Kudos to the University as all eyes are on UoN to borrow the concept.