U.I. Distance Learning Centre holds Maiden Lecture, Stakeholders’ Forum

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan | 10 June 2014 | 4,773 times

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As part of its efforts to re-invigorate and reposition distance learning education in the University of Ibadan, the Distance Learning Centre, held its first distinguished Lecture and Stakeholders’ Forum recently, at the International Conference Centre (ICC) of the institution.

Speaking on the theme, Re-positioning Distance Learning Centres in the Nigerian System for Efficiency and Equitable Access to Quality Education, the guest lecturer, Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, Director, Open and Distance Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), said that distance education is becoming more technology-intensive as is the case with other aspects of human endeavor, in terms of bandwidth, hardware electronic platforms, software processes and application, including mobile telephony, which have become an integral part of contemporary learning, academic management and learner support. “The introduction of information and communication technology (ICTs) has revolutionised distance learning education, changing the teaching and learning in ways never before imagined.”

Dr Ramon-Yusuf added that beyond the provision of a robust information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, a critical mass of competent and well trained personnel knowledgeable in the intricacies and nuances of open and distance learning is a sine qua non for effective implementation of an ODL system that would fulfill the promise of effective, efficient, affordable and accessible quality education, which the open and distance learning mode promises. In his words, distance learning “is taking distance away from education. It gives one the opportunity to learn anywhere.”

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof  A.I Olayinka, expressed delight at the ongoing efforts of the present management of the distance learning of the university in repositioning the centre as a veritable provider of the distance learning education, adding that the centre should not renege in sharpening its operational tools, with a view to ensuring that the learners are given quality education that will make them good citizens and active participants in national and international development.

He noted: “We, at the university, will ensure that we meet the demands of the critical imperatives of the open distance learning, one of which is to provide access to learning without boundaries. And I have the full assurance that our DLC has not been found wanting in this area, by extending its operation beyond the frontiers of this country.”

The Director, Distance Learning Centre, Prof Bayo Okunade, earlier in his welcome address, stated that in the last 36 months, the centre has embarked on a journey being supported by National Universities Commission. “All we are doing in the DLC today came under directives of the NUC regulations. So, for continuous relevance in the system, we have to keep on working in synchronisation with the globalisation and information communication technology, as we have no choice but to change. The vogue of DLC is to limit the trend of physical learning, and, by God’s grace, we are moving forward and closer to achieving that feat.”

 On the initiative of the event, Okunade said: “Though it is difficult to provide general understanding of the Open Distance Learning System, we are here to hear from the horse’s mouth. We are doing this today to give the understanding of ODL, with reference to University of Ibadan,” adding that if really distance education offers an opportunity for people who because of their circumstances could not take up regular schooling, then the importance of information technology cannot be overstated.”

Photo shows, from left, Director, Distance Learning Centre, Professor Bayo Okunade; Guest lecturer and Director, Open and Distance Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf; Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, representative of U.I VC and Registrar, Mr Olujimi Olukoya.

Source: News Express

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