The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has restated determination to provide quality Open Distance Learning (ODL) Education that will strengthen capacity and management of e-learning platforms for quality university education.
This was disclosed during the virtual graduation of the first phase of the Special Quality Assurance Training (SQAT I) training programme for members of staff of the university. According to the Chairman of Council/Pro-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Peter Okebukola, the three-week intensive programme was initiated by the university to set up and manage e-learning platform for quality university education.
While highlighting the objectives of the programme, Okebukola, who recalled how the Governing Council and Senate of NOUN in 2019 set up a framework for the university 2021/2022 transformation agenda, said the SQAT training was to strengthen the capacity of NOUN staff to be able to deliver courses that will lead to significant improvement in the quality of the graduates in order to be most sought after.
He noted that the training is also to strengthen capacity of NOUN staff to deliver the best Open Distance Learning (ODL) programmes in the entire Africa, saying now that COVID-19 has struck and ODL appears to be taking the centre stage, state governments and universities are looking for trainers that will train their staff, teachers in the states’ schools (primary, secondary and universities) on how to better deliver quality ODL.
“We are training our staff to be master trainers that will train Nigerian universities and the entire school system in delivering quality ODL. The goal of Council and Senate is that within the next four years, NOUN should be able to produce the best graduates in Nigeria in some flagship programmes in the phase 1 of the programme, which are B.Sc courses in Criminology and Security Studies; Computer Science; Entrepreneurship and Business Management; Mass Communication; and Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution,” Okebukola added.
No fewer than 158 participants, including members of Council, Vice-Chancellor, Registrar of the university, Deans and Heads of Faculties and Departments, Professors, academic staff from the 81 Study Centres of the university across the country participated in the staff three weeks intensive training. On his part, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, however, described the programme as a paradigm shift not only in Nigeria’s education, but also in Africa, especially in the delivery of ODL education.
“Prior to this, our focus had been on how to develop course materials and deliver them to the students. The SQAT training is another paradigm shift in e-learning and virtual education, and it further reflects a paradigm shift not only in the value of education, but also in the use of technology in the delivery of ODL education,” he added.