Executive Secretary of Africa Arise for Change Network, Israel Hassan said in an electronic email issued on Monday that it is time the federal government seriously commits to the constitutional requirement to provide affordable education at primary, secondary, tertiary and adult education levels where possible.
The statement noted that education remains a cardinal avenue for mobilizing and empowering citizens to make meaningful contributions to the economy and must be provided in a way that more people have access to it.
It explained that the focus should at this stage be on non-conventional learning arrangements like distance learning since the formal school structure has been receiving some degree of attention in the past and that the mandate of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, should be updated to specifically include strengthening distance learning in view of its growing popularity.
“We have seen the growing acceptance of distance learning as a pathway to getting tertiary education particularly in the wake of the milestones the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has recorded during the tenure of its vice chancellor, Professor Vincent Tenebe.
“This repositioned NOUN should be explored by the incumbent government as a way of getting more of those currently not getting tertiary education into some form of study programmes. The team that has made distance learning to its present level in Nigeria should be included in a panel to advice government on how to give more Nigerians education using the strategy that has worked for them.
“The last time Nigerians were able to pursue education that lead to award of recognized certificates on this scale was in the olden days when people were taking foreign correspondence courses. The distance learning of NOUN therefore makes for educational revival for all citizenry.” The group stated. It noted that several other groups have been advocating increased resort to distance learning on account of the improvements that Professor Tenebe’s tenure at NOUN has brought to the school.