Nigeria takes lead in Open/Distance Learning in Africa

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja


Nigeria presently leads other African countries in Open and Distance Learning ODL.

The Pioneer Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria NOUN, Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede said this in Abuja during an interview  with Voice of Nigeria on the need to further develop the open university system of the country and other issues affecting higher education in Nigeria & Africa as a whole.

Prof. Jegede said the Nigeria is not yet positioned where it supposed to be as regards open and distance learning but it is presently ahead of other ODL centres in Africa.

The Former Vice Chancellor of NOUN also called for the improvement of Information Technology IT, set up of the National Open University of Nigeria, saying when improved ,the university can deploy visual reality applications to enhance its communication with the over 500,000 students of the school.

Prof Jegede stressed that introduction of visual reality app will eliminate full participation of examiners in supervision of exams and will strengthen existing monitoring mechanisms.

According to him, “‘ we need to improve our IT set up , I am expecting that very soon we should be able to use visual reality in our communication so that when a student interrogate a system ,it will be like the physical environment” .

“I am expecting that in the nearest future we will not need to be physically present in the exam hall to supervise exams ,students should be able to write their exams from the comfort of their house, our visual reality should be able to be programmed in such a way as if students are in a lecture or in an exam hall, all that a supervisor would need to do is to point and watch the whole exercise” Prof Jegede added.

Artificial Intelligence
The Former VC tasked the leadership of the NOUN to take advantage of what he called artificial intelligence to improve on the system, he added that systems are getting better .

Prof. Jegede also tasked the university to seek better ways to improve on it present system based on the needs of the open university system as regards global best practices.

For the university to advance to all these levels, they need to seek ways on how to improve as it is we already know that this things can be done so the question is how to achieve it ,we know where we can get it done ,we know whom we are doing it for ,the only thing is that how do we implement it ” Prof. Jegede said.

He called on academics across the country not to allow corruption of any form to thrive in the Nigerian Higher Education Sub sector.

Prof Jegede lamented the falling standard of inaugural lectures saying most Professors no longer profess but rather quote all manners of materials.

According to him, “there is so much corruption in the system now, some lecturers expect some students to pay them to get good grades, this should not be allowed in the system”.

“An inaugural lecture is for a professor to tell the world what they believe in as an academic, what they have been professing on and their contribution to knowledge in that very area but it’s unfortunate many of the inaugural lectures these days lack these contents ,some of the so called professors are not even interested in mentoring the younger ones” Prof Jegede said.

Harassment Issues
Speaking specifically on the sex for marks issue affecting some lecturers, Prof Olugbemiro Jegede said the existing revelations and reports are tips of the iceberg.

According to Prof Jegede, ” there are many female students who are possibly sexually harassed in 100level and they know they will still meet the lecturer in 300level ,they simply keep the challenge to themselves, they wouldn’t want to say this out ,they just choose to tolerate it”

“There are boys also harassed by many female lecturers among whom are divorced and they want to have affairs by these male students, some boys are also victimised because they are befriending the girls the lecturers want to have affairs with” he added.