Distance Education in Nigeria

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Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE January 2006 ISSN 1302-6488 Volume: 7 Number: 1 Article: 2

Problems and Prospects of Open and Distance Education in Nigeria Mudasiru Olalere YUSUF (Ph.D) Senior lecturer (Educational Technology) Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology, Faculty of Education University of Ilorin, Ilorin NIGERIA ABSTRACT Distance education as a mean of providing access to education, particularly tertiary level education, has gained great prominence in the world. Nigeria has taken giant steps of recent to introduce open and distance education programme. This paper explores the major terms inherent in open and distance education, its potentials, possible factors that may inhibit successful implementation of the programme, and the use of low and high technological tools for its implementation. The paper recommended the use of Organisation Element Model (OEM) as suggested by (Kaufman, Watkins & Guerra, 2001) for its planning and implementation, and also stressed the need for improvement in electricity and communication services. Keywords: Distance education, Nigeria, Open and Distance Learning Blue Print, Media, Low tech, High tech, Organisational Element Model. INTRODUCTION Every nation invests in education because it can produce unquantifiable benefits for individuals, organisations and the society as a whole. Education is provided through formal and informal means. In formal settings the conventional (face-to-face school instruction) and distance education (offered with separation in terms of physical location of instructors and students) have been used to provide educational opportunities to recipients. Open education though not new in Nigeria has been given much prominence of recent. Many Nigerians benefited through the open education (correspondence) of Rapid Result College, and Exam Success Correspondence College, among others. In fact, like the Universal Basic Education (UBE), distance education is one of the major pivots, on which the present Federal administration in Nigeria hopes to improve the quantity and quality of instruction in Nigerian schools. It is also a means of providing access to basic and tertiary education for Nigerians. Policy statements and actions have given fillip to the determination of the government to make a success of the programme. The revised national policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, FRN 2004) detailed the goal of distance education should be to: Provide access to quality education and equity in educational opportunities for those who otherwise would have been denied. Meet special needs of employers by mounting special certificate courses for their employees at their work place. Encourage internationalization especially of tertiary education curricula. Ameliorate the effect of internal and external brain drain in tertiary institutions by utilizing Nigerian experts as teachers regardless of their locations or places of work (p. 45).

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To achieve these goals it is stated that the federal government of Nigeria shall ensure that distance education programme are equivalent in structure and status to those offered by face-to-face mode of instruction, and that the government shall encourage and regulate distance education programme in Nigeria. It shall also establish distance education advisory body to advice government on distance education, promote distance education nationwide, liaise with existing educational regulatory bodies and institutions offering distance education, liaise with media establishments, encourage provide efforts and other non-governmental organisation the provision of quality distance education, and encourage participation in distance education programme at all levels and strengthen the capacity of existing institution providing distance education (FRN, 2004). An advert by the National Open Distance Learning Programme (NODLP, 2002) gave insight into efforts made to kick-start the open and distance...
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