ODL: A Key Requirement for Africa’s Quest for Socioeconomic Development By Olugbemiro Jegede & Jonathan Mba
OutlineIntroductionThe Urgent Need for ODLEvolution and Current Developments in ODLConcluding Remarks
Introduction• Global movement to educate every citizen• Focus on removing disparities in educational access• Vigorous search for alternative delivery modes• Education directed to the full development of the human personality
Introduction - continued• UN Human Rights Charter (Dec 10, 1948) article 26 deals with the right to education by all• Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)• eradication of illiteracy, poverty, hunger• create intellectual connection to reality• use education as cornerstone of development • promote human security and fairness
Introduction - continued• The social and economic dimensions of providing education for all, within the context dwindling financial and other resource situations• astronomical numbers • the diverse nature of the unmet demands, • the need for flexible tailor‐made delivery of instruction• taking advantages of emerging information communication technologies (ICTs) • the most logical pathway is by mass education, global partnerships and collaborations
Need for ODL Demographic changes & rising enrolment Success in learning &lifelong learning Illiteracy
Evolution and Current Developments in ODL• Tremendous expansion of secondary education• Increase in jobs and professional activities requiring high level knowledge and skills• Continuing demand for higher studies• Kenya: 30,000 out of 90,000 get admitted; Nigeria: 350,000 out of 1.5M; 12 new Federal Univ in Ethiopia; 9 new ones in Nigeria.
Evolution and Current Developments in ODL ‐ continued •About 5% on the average in H.E. •No African country has achieved the UNESCO‐ defined level of 25% participation in Higher Education. •On average, African universities have a shortfall of 60% of researchers and teachers •Three out of 10 in secondary school. •VTE neglected •One adult in three cannot read or write. •world’s deepest inequalities based on factors such as gender, language
Evolution and Current Developments in ODL ‐ continued• impact is particularly pronounced in Africa, a continent with:• the world’s highest illiteracy rates,• the lowest participation rates in HE• huge capacity development needs• 10million seeking employment annually• 60% of the unemployed being youth, and • a massive demand for tertiary education• about 800 Universities.
Evolution and Current Developments in ODL ‐ continuedOpen and Distance Learning: • weapon of mass instruction• democratises and liberalises education• flexible and life long• quality assured and includes all• allows individualised learning and at own pace
Concluding Remarks• ODL is highly regarded in Europe, Asia, Pacific and Americas• ODL has carved out a niche as a major answer to HE issues world wide• Suffers from ignorance and neglect• African Practitioners often on the defensive, providing very limited convincing arguments• ODL is still struggling with credibility issue in Africa. Quality Assurance regime is the answer
Concluding Remarks ‐ continued• Open Universities are trapped in national education policy environments designed for conventional universities• Funding inadequacies, funding misappropriation• Tension between legal and social legitimisation of ODL programs and products. • Infrastructural deficiencies – (low bandwidth, high cost of internet access, no study centres‐ which lead to a myriad of operational deficiencies
Concluding Remarks ‐ continued• How can open‐access learning materials and tools be implemented and maintained in Africa? Can these resources be localized and integrated into national education systems at a lower cost than developing them locally? • How can mobile devices be used effectively to provide or support interactive learning?• How can programs be monitored and evaluated effectively?
Concluding Remarks ‐ continued• We must change with the time.• ODL should bridge the gap.“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent”. Isaac Newton, English Physicist and Astronomer (1643‐1727).• Adopt ODL and wait patiently for lasting results.