By: AMIS TAUNA and ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) with support from Commonwealth of Learning (COL) have concluded a review of the National Policy on Open, Distance and Flexible Learning (ODFL) for Nigerian Polytechnics.
NBTE Executive Secretary, Dr Mas’ud Kazaure, said at the close of a three-day meeting with relevant stakeholders to review the draft policy in Kaduna on Wednesday that the document would soon be approved for implementation by the relevant bodies.
Represented by Abbati Mohamed, a director at the board, Kazaure said that the final document would be submitted to the Governing Board of the NBTE for vetting before it is forwarded to the National Council on Education for approval.
“We have a duty to ensure that our youths have access to technical education for the needed industrialisation for socio-economic development,”he said.
Kazaure had said at the opening of the meeting on Monday that the board had recommended 29 polytechnics to pioneer the ODFL.
Also speaking, COL Consultant, Dr Philip Uys, said that the policy was the only solution to alternative delivery of technical education to Nigerian youths.
“This is because it will require millions of dollars to build enough traditional universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to cater for the educational needs of Nigerian youths.
“The focus of this policy, strategy and procedures, therefore, is to open access to technical education using modern technology such as computers, mobile phones and other devices.
“We will finalise the document hopefully by end of July with Commonwealth of Learning and send it back to NBTE to undergo normal process of approval by the relevant bodies.”
One of the participants, Dr Yusuf Lawal of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, said that the policy was long overdue considering the huge number of youths seeking higher education.
“Certificate has become a meal ticket; so, youths don’t want to be left out in acquiring one but access has remained a major challenge which the ODFL policy seeks to address.”
Lawal, however, stressed the need for high level advocacy and sensitisation for stakeholders to embrace it to take the youths off the streets and end their frustration.
Commonwealth of Learning is an intergovernmental organisation created by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1987 to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.