Former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC) and Director of Lagos State University’s (LASU) Africa Centre of Excellence for Innovative and Transformative STEM Education (ACEITSE), Ojo, Prof Peter Okebukola, has cautioned students of the centre running Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programme not to indulge in any form of fraudulent academic activities.
He said the centre seriously frown at such practices, including exam malpractice and plagiarism and therefore would not hesitate to sanction, according to the extant law of LASU, any student found culpable of the act.
Prof Okebukola gave the warning in a statement on Monday, April 6, as the centre kick-started e-lectures that would last three months for a total of 88 masters and PhD students from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burundi, DRC, Kenya, Gambia, Rwanda and some other African countries, who are running the programme.
According to him, every student would need to familiarise him or herself to what constitutes academic fraud, especially plagiarism by properly crediting another person’s work if to make use of such either in part or whole, in assignments and in any other works.
While recalling that LASU-ACEITSE formerly commenced lecture on the teaching and learning of STEM education at masters and PhD levels using the home-grown mechanism that factors in African cultural contexts and humour in January this year, Prof Okebukola noted that the centre is decided based on advice from the World Bank and Association of African Universities (AAU) to deploy online lecture delivery system for its programmes now that the whole world is facing COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
He said classes, through this customised virtual Moodle and Zoom interactive format, would take the form of live lessons, discussions, workshops, assignments, quizzes and individual presentations electronically with every class member actively participating some at the same time and others as convenient.
So, this arrangement, he pointed out, does not required students coming together in a physical classroom format, but online and all without compromising standards.
The centre leader, who urged every student to stay safe and healthy in their homes by following various measures against the spread of COVID-19 however, noted that a total of 35 high profile scholars, and some current and former vice-chancellors of universities from Nigeria and beyond are facilitators for the studies.
He listed some of them to include VC of the University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka; VC of the National Open University of Nigeria, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu; VC of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, Professor Abayomi Adelaja; President of Nigerian Academy of Science, Professor Mosto Onuoha; former VC, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Michael Faborode; Professor Jomo Mutegi from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA; Professor Kola Raheem from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana; Professor Olusola Adesope from Washington State University, Pullman, USA; Professor Juma Shabani from the University of Burundi; Professor Asabe Kabir from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Professor Uche Udeani from the University of Lagos and Deputy VC of Osun State University, Osogbo, Professor Tony Kola-Olusanya and so forth.
He, however, assured that the scholars would certainly bring their wealth of experience to bear for the e-learning studies.