Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters and the university’s erstwhile Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede have joined other stakeholders to call for the implementation of a national policy to promote digital learning in Nigeria.
They made the call in Abuja at a 2-day Workshop on Policy Initiative for Digital Learning in Nigerian Universities, which was attended by 19 Vice-Chancellors, 19 university directors of ICTs, 13 directors of Africa Centres of Excellence from different locations in the country and other stakeholders like the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The workshop was organised by the Regional Training and Research Institute for Distance and Open Learning (RETRIDOL), NOUN, in collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada, and the African Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL).
Declaring the workshop open, NOUN VC, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on Technology, Innovation and Research, Prof. Monioluwa Olaniyi, said the theme of the workshop was timely, in view of the current technological revolution in the 21st century.
Peters stressed the need for technology-enabled learning in higher education institutions to remain relevant in the mandate of teaching and for national development.
‘‘To drive a successful adoption of sustainable technology integration, policies and strategic initiatives are critical,’’ he said.
While commending the sponsors of the project, he added that the Covid-19 pandemic was a wakeup call for institutions to address policy issues in the planning and deployment of digital learning.
On his part, a renowned professor of Open and Distance Learning and former Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede, said no country would achieve proficient digital economy without digital skills.
“All over the world people have embraced technology much more than we think; there is nothing you can do now without technology. Technology has taken over all parts of our system.
“It has become imperative to appreciate the role of technology in teaching and learning so that the next generation will be better placed in appreciating the world and of being trained for the workforce and better entrepreneurs.
“The world is now depending on digital economy, so this is what the policy is advocating, that the universities should appreciate the use of digital learning in today’s world.
“The professors, lecturers can use digital learning for teaching, assessment, exams, interact with students and send their messages across and bring students together for them to have their group discussions.
“Digital literacy is actually saying we should understand how to use all these technologies, how to use them to access information and how to produce information through them,” he said.