NBTE, Stakeholders Review Policy On open, Distance Learning For Polytechnics

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By: Mayen Etim

KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – 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, disclosed at the end of a three-day meeting with relevant stakeholders to review the draft policy in Kaduna on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, that the document would soon be approved for implementation by relevant bodies.

Dr Kazaure who was represented by a Director at the Board, Abbati Mohamed, said the final document would be submitted to the Governing Board of NBTE for vetting before it is forwarded to the National Council on Education for approval.

Kazaure had said at the opening of the meeting on Monday that the Board had recommended 29 polytechnics to pioneer the ODFL.
“We have a duty to ensure that our youth have access to technical education for the needed industrialisation for socio-economic development,”he said.

Also speaking, COL Consultant, Dr Philip Uys, said that the policy was the only solution to alternative delivery of technical education to Nigerian youth.

“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 youth.

“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.”

A participant, Dr Yusuf Lawal of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, (JAMB) said that the policy was long overdue considering the huge number of youth seeking higher education.

“Certificate has become a meal ticket; so, youth don’t want to be left out in acquiring one but access has remained a major challenge which the ODFL policy seeks to addressed.”

Dr Lawal, however, stressed the need for high level advocacy and sensitisation for stakeholders to embrace it to take the youth 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.

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