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Press Release : Lunar International College’s COVID-19 response: a temporary shift to online learning in higher education

The global higher education sector has been dramatically affected as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19 has called for a new standard for the higher education sector around the globe. Here in Ethiopia too, the epidemic has prevented Lunar International College (LIC) students from going back to campus. Currently at LIC, we are following the federal government directives of social distancing and closing of educational institutions to save lives. Otherwise, the coronavirus menace will have a devastating effect on our society because of us and our college.

It is clear to the educational community that crisis knows no boundaries. LIC holds that crisis planning must be an integral part of effective educational leadership. Online Education which is just as good as Classroom Learning since the past decade or so, has emerged as the finest method of learning. However, online education need not be seen as a replacement for the traditional learning environment rather it should be seen as a set of tools that will allow students to excel and for tutors to maximize their effectiveness. So, instead of waiting for the end of the epidemic Lunar International College (LIC) has decided to shift all the courses online and start teaching as scheduled. It must be clearly understood that when this crisis finally recedes, Lunar International College will resume normal classroom education for all students.

Selected application of learning platforms will be uploaded on to students and instructors laptops and/ or smart phones. Currently LIC has chosen two platforms namely- Zoom (for virtual class room) and mElimu E-Learning Management System. The most helpful component of these platforms include Conducting virtual class, reviewing video or audio tapes recorded during the virtual class session together with lecture slides, and interactions with instructors through online tools such as discussion forum, online assignment submission, quiz, or virtual interactions in video conference rooms; reporting positive online experience in terms of enjoying a better view facing own laptop or smart phone than watching a screen in the classroom, not being disturbed by other students around, feeling relax at home, and etc. and offering flexibility for students who have work or family responsibilities pace, accelerating their studies if desired.