Aksum University Community discuss on readjusting the existing higher education system towards the ‘new normal’
Members of the Aksum University Community, including all officers at different levels and a number of senior staff members, conducted a public discussion on readjusting the existing higher education system towards the ‘new normal’.
The purpose of the discussion is to share up to date information among the staff and find out innovative ways of living with and working in the challenging COVID-19 era.
Dr. Kiros Guesh, Acting President of Aksum University in his opening speech highlighted the challenges facing the education sector worldwide due to the pandemic.
He further shaded light on the possible radical social and economic changes to come, due to the disruptive nature of global pandemics reminding the university community that these changes shouldn’t be left unguided and the university community should play major role in this regard.
To do so he added, the university should reposition itself to this “new normal” and also nurture enabling operating modalities, defiant to other future similar encounters.
Dr. Merhawi Abreha, Vice President for Research and Community Services, in his part stated that in order to respond to the pandemic COVID-19 in a an effective and organized manner, Aksum University established COVID-19 special task forces at different levels which involved many of the university leadership and health workers.
In his speech, he commended the ongoing encouraging efforts from a few researchers in responding to the deadly pandemic by providing innovative and creative technological solutions and creating public awareness on COVID-19 prevention and control.
Furthermore, the Vice President highlighted that even though some commendable self-initiated efforts have been made in providing up to date information on research findings related to the novel virus and conducting some COVID-19 impact assessment research, a lot is yet expected from all academic units.
During the discussion, Dr. Dejen Gebregergis, Chief Executive Director of Aksum University College of Health Sciences and Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, highlighted the services being provided by the university in the three quarantine centers, isolation center, COVID-19 treatment center and COVID-19 testing center.
Aksum University Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gebremedhn Mezgebe, explained to the gathering that postgraduate classes and other academic activities are undergoing using online system and emphasised all opportunities in the information communication technology industry should be effectively utilized to sustain our normal work.
During the discussion, participants shared their concerns and problem-solving suggestions on the ongoing efforts in combating the virus and adjusting life towards the new normal.
With concerns in conducting of examinations online raised by some discussants, professional suggestions were promptly forwarded from other participants of the meeting that there are various alternatives to conduct and administer examinations online with effectiveness and efficiency.
As the lively discussion comes to an end, Dr. Kiros Guesh concluded the session with remarks that the fittest alternative communication technologies suggested by relevant professionals should be utilized as effectively as possible.
He also reminded each academic unit to continue the discussion at all levels of the university so that each academic unit can come up with innovative approaches to adjust itself to work in the “new normal” for achievement of the university mission.