The University of Lagos distributed a total 104 ipads (tablets) to indigent and visually challenged students during its matriculation ceremony on Friday in Lagos.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, while distributing the ipads, said the essence was to ensure that every student was carried along in the area of online learning.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dr Jim Ovia, the Founder/ Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc had at university’s 51st convocation, donated a total of 3,500 tablets (iPad) to support indigent students for their online learning.
The donation came in response to the pleas by the vice chancellor, for support to over 1000 indigent students at the university.
Giving a breakdown of the distribution, Ogundipe said that 50 of the ipads were being given to indigent students, while 54 were for visually impaired students.
He said that the university would continue to give more of the device to identified indigent and other students, whenever the need arose.
Ogundipe noted that meeting the academic needs of every student of the institution had been one of his administration’s core mandates.
According to him, management of the university will continue to do all within its power, in providing a level playing field for academic excellence for all students.
“It is our duty to strive to enable the disadvantaged to access education, especially in this era of technology.
“We are glad that this is coming at the right time and that is why we will waste no time in ensuring that those who truly deserve this are given promptly for maximum use.
“We have a total of 3,500 indigent students, but some of them have already graduated.
“A total of 3,500 of the tablets were donated by Dr Jim Ovia. So, what we have now done is to deploy some of the tablets, precisely 500 of them, to the library for students use.
“Those who want to use them could go there, borrow and use for about two weeks and return them, after proper documentation, just like somebody going to the library to borrow books.
“This practice will equally go a long way to assist the students access education in any field, as well as enhance their performance, because of course, as we all know, not everyone can afford these gadgets ,” Ogundipe said.
The VC said that over 50,000 candidates applied for placements in the university for the academic session, but only 11,885 of them were eventually admitted.
“You know the admission was in two phases. The total admitted 8,038 for the 70 per cent for the 2020/2021 academic session, and 3,847 for the remaining 30 per cent to complete the cycle,” he stated.
On measures put in place to check the issue of drug abuse in the institution, the professor of Botany said that the university had zero tolerance for such vice.
” It has been a practice in this university to ensure that all students that are admitted here, during their registration, are also screened for drug abuse.
“We have been doing that in the last three years. And those that deserve counseling, we direct them to the university counselors to counsel them. This year is not an exception,” he stated.
Earlier, while admonishing the newly admitted students, Ogundipe urged them to be focused, dedicated and determined, to make their future bright.
He said that they must strive to give their best at all times, in a bid to come out better and make not just themselves and their parents proud, but the university and the nation at large.
“You must be of the best behaviour, as you embark on this your journey to seek academic excellence.
“You have come here to conquer. You must see yourselves as people that will take dominion, that will control the economy and the political space of this country in future,” Ogundipe stated.
On his part, Mr Dennis Olisa, Executive Director, Zenith Bank PLC, who was also at the event to represent Dr Jim Ovia, said the essence of the donation of the tablets was to give back to the society.
Olisa, who spoke on his capacity as an executive director of the bank, noted that for any meaningful progress to be achieved in any aspect of life’s endeavour, there must be collaboration.
“I came here today to represent Dr Jim Ovia, the Founder/Chairman, Zenith Bank PLC and also in my capacity as the executive director of the bank.
“The only reason why we are doing this is just to give back to the society.
“Whether you like it or not, for the mere fact that we are all standing, we are all alive and we are all breathing, we owe a duty to ourselves and also the society, to see how we can help one another.
“We have a slogan where I come from, that says; each one, help each one. That is why we are doing what we are doing.
“Zenith Bank has been there for a very long time, we are here to stay and we believe that we are also part of this community. Students that have graduated from this institution work with Zenith Bank.
“Quite a number of us also look up to UNILAG for a number of things, refresher courses, postgraduate degree training and a host of others.
“We are part of the entire society and we believe that we can look out for each other, see what we can do to help each other and that is why we did it,” Olisa said.