STAFF AND STUDENTS LAMENT POOR INTERNET ACCESS IN THE UNIJOS

Some students in the ICT center that normally would have been over-crowded but for the ASUU Stirke

 

Report by Happiness Gamki (2/5)
Edited by JM

The University of Jos is where hard work is acknowledged in achieving excellent records. This is where doctors, lawyers, and journalists among other good known professionals are raised, and other forms of intellectual and practical researches are made.

Behind the numerous achievements and good name that this institution has acquired for itself so far, there still lays a tragedy that is discouraging some of the staff/students within the institution.

The wireless service or free access to Internet connectivity has become a virus that needs a specialist to embark on finding its core before it spreads into an uncontrollable stage.

The information and communication technology department is where ICT services are rendered to  the institution but a majority of the staff are left to bear their own cross by carrying out activities manually without accessing wireless services.

The secretary to the head of the department of the Division of General Studies (GST) in her comment on the issue.

“Is there any wireless service in this institution? My dear I don’t know”.

“As you can see what I am doing when you walked in, I am trying to access the Internet but with my personal phone which I have purchased the data with my own money to access and complete the institution’s work”.

“In fact, in my former office, my boss had to go and pay some of the ICT staff just to get a wireless connection in his office but until when I left that office, there was no any form of connection neither was his money refunded!”

“If there is any department that is supposed to enjoy the free access to Internet or wireless service within the institution, first of all, it should be the ICT office, then the Division of General Studies (GST) will follow”.

“Whatever information that is collected from the students are being stored manually and during exams, the GST department have to seek for the support of the ICT office because of the inadequate facilities affecting the department which is not supposed to be”.

“It is hard to say that in this 21st century where one has too much to do on daily basis is unable to or end up having (30%) of the work done out of (100%) because of  inadequate facilities.” This was the submission of Mr. Linus James, a lecturer from Faculty of Agriculture.

“I am hearing this from you for the first time, that there exists a kind of Internet connection that is even free. I am not surprise though that other departments have been enjoying from the service”.

“Here in the Faculty of Agriculture, it is our prayer that we may have the access to such services someday that’s if something similar to what you just said is in existence in institution”.

Miss Grace Apollos, a 300 level student from the Faculty of Arts, the Department of Foreign Languages: “I haven’t experienced it? I came through Direct Entry (DE) and during my registration I came to know that  students have to give money to generate his/her matriculation number”.

“Many of us are here [the ICT department] to browse the Internet in search of materials for academic aid in times of assignments, research, or materials that will widen/broaden our knowledge, but is sad that not even a convenient environment is constructed for that, that aside. Mostly, you know that is only for those who have access to computer systems or browsing phones that can be able to access the Internet/ wireless service, but what about those that don’t have the computers to access such services?”

“Its is one of the essential duties of the school management to ensure the availability of adequate facilities for learning to be convenient. The issue of insufficient materials within the institution to aid and encourage its students learning is having a negative impact on the school as a whole”.

“The environment are empty because of the ongoing strike in the school, if not you will have seen students in their population here [ICT lab] competing with each other just to access Internet services” she concluded.

But the reverse is the case. It is often said that no matter how bad a situation is, there lies some good.  So is the case with these group of people.

Mr. Joseph a staff with the UniJos library, said “I am grateful that everything here in the library is  smooth and easy going because of the wireless network. It helps us access the Internet without difficulty, like if anyone says a word that am not familiar with, the next thing I do is to take my phone to browse the meaning of that word”.

Miss Felicia, a computer science student said, “the wireless network have been so helpful. Once I am having any problem, I do rush to the ICT office to find solutions. The staff are so kind and are ready to assist when you have your system with you”.

The Deputy Director of the information and communication technology (ICT) department and also the head of Computer Information Service (CIS), Mr Imoren who has worked with the ICT office for more than 16 years narrated his experienced and some of the challenges that lies within the office.

He said, “I am sad that even after so many years of existence, the ICT is still battling to meet the need of its students and staff. It is not proper that the students have to come around and either stand or squat for whatever reason to access the Internet and most of our staff are not having the free access in their various offices”.

“It is the wish of the ICT to provide wireless services in each and every office/ classroom in the institution, so that no one will have to line up here for Internet or wireless network”.

As an ICT expert, I believe that a convenient environment such as a park should be made available to ease the stress of standing under the hot sun while accessing the Internet. But lack of funds is standing as an obstacle to achieving its dreams and goals for the institution”.

“Although the ICT department is still battling to render quality services to the institution, our key achievements cannot be hidden, which include, the provision of Internet connectivity for the school which is better than none. We have also provided information systems for the students and we are planing to provide same for the staff. We have even created an awareness for students and staff to know the important of ICT in our day to day task to ensure that everything works out smoothly”.

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