Medical University Goes Online for Pre-Clinical/Medical Teaching

“COVID-19 can shut down the entire world but not our commitments to students,” says Texila American University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr Vijayakumar Rajarathinam. Being committed to delivering continuous education, Texila American University (TAU), a coveted medical university, goes online to provide continued pre-med teaching.

The outbreak of pandemic COVID-19 has made several nations to close down their operations. While this closure will affect the economy of the countries largely, it has already affected the education of students across the world since the start of the outbreak.

When it hits China, people were worried about the future of international students in China. Now, it has spread across the globe, leaving the education of students under threat.

Many educational institutions in African countries have halted their classes for the government-set period. Moreover, due to the prevailing uncertainty, no one has any clue when the classes will be restarted.

While the whole world is racing to curb the spread of Covid-19, it becomes the responsibility of every educational service provider to answer:

  1. How can the staked education be continued during this global crisis?
  2. What are we going to do to face the upcoming shortage of qualified professionals?

Countries in Africa are already far behind to meet the standard and quality of public health professionals, including doctors, set by the World Health Organization (WHO). If the situation continues, it will worsen the number and put people’s health at stake in the near future. Medical and public health students should not be left behind.

There are around 220+ medical institutions in Africa that produce approximately 20,000 physicians every year. However, the number will drastically come down this year due to this pandemic Coronavirus outbreak, as there was only a lesser number of enrollment. If this is the case, Africa will have to face a drastic shortage of doctors in the next 10 years from now.

In order to avoid this situation, the Association of African Universities (AAU) urged all African medical universities to take immediate action and look for alternative options to:

  • ensure emergency education provision
  • continue the learning process through innovative approaches
  • thereby help students continue their studies without interruptions

As it involves medical learning, quality cannot be compromised. There come online programs into play for medical and public health students.

Online or E-Learning Mode

As online or e-learning mode is already in existence, this can be the only option left out for medical institutions to reach their students. Thus, the universities have started looking into options to make it effective for all regular students, especially medical students.

While responding to the outbreak by closing the campuses, TAU has acted proactively and switched the learning mode to online. Thus, they have helped their student community to stay on track of their learning process. When everyone is socially isolated, TAU keeps its students and faculty connected through online.

Now, this highly acclaimed medical university has taken the initiative to uplift the medical education to the next level. Besides, TAU has taken all the precautionary measures to provide existing and upcoming pre-med students with uninterrupted learning through their signature online/e-learning mode.

Besides many setbacks, COVID-19 has enforced the entire education industry to implement new ideas that can disrupt the learning methodologies, as does TAU.

Whatever happens, universities/educational institutions should not leave the education of the students at stake, as they are the future of the country. An immediate, innovative, and effective action must be taken by the countries, respective authorities, and educational institutions to help students continue their studies with no interruption, especially during this unstable situation.

Dr Vijayakumar Rajarathinam

Deputy Vice Chancellor

Texila American University

Lusaka, Zambia

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