Don urges African leaders to invest in Open, Distance Learning

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A professor of Laweh Open University, Ghana, Goski Alabi,has called on African leaders to invest in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) education with a view to making it centre of learning not only in Africa but the world over.

Alabi made the call in a lecture she delivered entitled: ”Agenda for Making Africa Take Leadership Position in ODL,” at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) virtual training for the academic staff of the institution for improved academic quality for effective service delivery.

”It is paramount for the African Open Universities to place greater premium on Relevance and Acceptability.

”They must to learn to invest in ODL, with a view to making it take the leadership not only in Africa but the world over.

Also speaking, the university’s Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Abdalla Adamu, said the three-week training, which took place on the Zoom platform, was moderated by the Chairman of the NOUN Governing Council, Prof Peter Okebukola, who served as Facilitator-General of the event.

The training is entitled: ‘Setting Up a Learning Management System and Implementing an Online Course on Moodle Platform” was convened following a survey on the needs of academic staff by a sub-committee of the university’s Governing Council.

Adamu said the university had undertaken a series of reforms and complied with the approved standards of ODL teaching across the globe over the last four and a half years of his administration.

While urging policy makers to begin to view education beyond its conventional confines, Adamu congratulated the participants for having gone through the intensive training and passing with great results.”

“A total of 158 participants that included members of the Governing Council, Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Deans, H.O.Ds, professors and academic staff from all study centres, participated in the intensive training.”

Okebukola said that 73 participants got distinction, 23 secured credits, eight got pass and others ended up with an honourable mention at the end of the virtual training.

“The Council and Senate of the university has deemed it pertinent to set up a process that will lead to a significant improvement in the delivery of best ODL education.

“Now that COVID-19 is whining down, state governments and universities are looking for teachers in the field of ODL, which the training will equip NOUN staff to be the master trainers in the current demand of experts.

“Our VC who delivered a remark at the virtual ceremony said there had been a paradigm shift in the delivery of ODL education not only in Nigeria but world over, which was necessitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

Some of the courses delivered during the training included “Overview of Learning Management Systems” by Distinguished Prof. Okebukola, “Overview of ODL and Online Learning” by Prof. Abdalla Adamu, and “Content Delivery in ODL” by Prof. Patrick Eya.

Other topics were: “Writing Quality Notes for the Distant Learner” by Prof. Mercy Ogunsola Bandele, “Learner Support Service in ODL” by Prof. Gregory Okagbare, “Downloading MOODLE” by Dr Adewale Adesina, and “Key Elements of Instructional Design” by Dr Lukman Bello, among others.