THE CENTRE IN GENERAL PERSPECTIVE
The Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) of the National Open University of Nigeria is located at the headquarters in Lagos. It is equipped with recent technology that enables it to connect effective and efficiently with NOUN Study Centres and relevant institutions and agencies/partners all over the country and beyond.
MANDATE OF CENTRE
Considering the fact that education and knowledge are veritable means for achieving cultural, social and economic development, CLL is committed to providing open, distance and technology-mediated learning to the vulnerable populace of Nigeria, the less privileged literate and semi-literate citizens in various workplaces, the migrant fishermen, the nomadic headsmen , the rural farmers, the out-of-school youths, etc., who are by the very nature of their environment denied access to formal and /or further education, as well as to the educated members of the public, i.e the professionals: the artisans, teachers, accountants, bankers, lawyers , doctors, engineers, politicians, self-employed business men and women who need further training and retraining in the forms of certificate and diploma courses , workshops , refresher courses, etc., in their professional areas or in new areas.
Thus, in essence, the Centre functions in a dual capacity as an academic unit as well as skills acquisition unit. It runs sub-degree programmes at the Proficiency, Certificate and Diploma levels and provides training and retraining through long and short term job-oriented programmes, refresher courses, seminars and workshops to identified target groups in various industries and areas of learning, and promotes development of entrepreneurial capacity. In executing the latter function, the Centre engages in fruitful collaborations with relevant public and private sector agencies/institutions and industry.
CLL is unique and distinguished by several key features, prominent among which are:
- Community–centeredness as it ensures that the people from the immediate community in which the University or University Study Centre is situated is the ultimate beneficiary of its educational and training activities.
- It is the only directorate of NOUN with the exclusive mandate to extend access to education at all levels to people who otherwise would have been denied requisite education due to insufficient matriculation entry qualifications as it offers Certificate and diploma courses that prepare learners for entry into other relevant programmes at various levels aimed at enhancing professional capacities.
- It explores new opportunities for capacity building offered by technological changes and research and learning while on the job.
- It is sensitive to priorities and needs as defined by its clientele, offers solutions appropriate to prevailing circumstances and conditions at the various workplace training centres or institutions in the country.
- Appropriate staff capacity and capabilities as the Centre is staffed with both qualified permanent staff and temporary resources personnel with years of ground breaking work experience in the field of Open and Distance Learning (ODL).
WORK PLAN OF CENTRE
THE TRAINING CONTEXT
While CLL may appear to be more active in the provision of education to people at the Certificate and Diploma levels, the Centre is equipped to provide training and retraining, long-term and short –term courses, refresher courses, seminars, workshops, etc., to institutions and corporate organizations, companies, banks, industries, to persons at all levels who are already employed in the country’s various workplaces. This focus is in recognition of the fact that for an effective and efficient workforce in the country, the skill sets requisite for more responsible and responsive workers must be created. This requires the development of necessary life skills and work ethics, for which CLL with its ODL approaches, can be helpful.
To this end, the Centre approaches all the inherent issues with the flexibility necessary to reach all, including those already employed who require training while still in their workplaces.
THE EDUCATIONAL SECTOR CONTEXT
With the UBE in place, more and more Nigerians will need education at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels, and pressures will become enormous both for more trained teachers and for alternative approaches to curriculum delivery methods. Moreover, the need for appropriate and needful skilling of products of UBE and especially those learners who do not progress beyond the JSS level would be catered for in order to have a mass of skilled manpower for the artisanal and other professional cadres of the nation’s workforce. CLL supports capacity development along this line and encourages the growth of digital networks connecting communities of teachers, teacher trainers and private-school proprietors’ educational delivery. Besides, professionals in various areas of human endeavor are catered for by the Centre to equip them with knowledge and skills, through training and formal programmes, at higher levels.