University of Calabar Ready to Commence Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Programme

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Calabar, Nigeria – The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, has declared the institution’s readiness to commence the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Programme. This affirmation came during a visit by a team from the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) on a Pre-Validation Exercise for the ICT-enabled Open and Distant Learning Programme NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed.

Prof. Obi welcomed the NUC team in her office and expressed the University’s preparedness for the Pre-validation visit. She highlighted the University’s extensive experience in Distance Learning Programme, having successfully run more than 20 programmes across the country in the past until the NUC’s directive to halt such initiatives in all Universities.

“The University of Calabar has a long history of Distance Learning. We are quite sure everything is ready, be it the manpower or expertise to run the Programme,” she stated confidently. The Vice Chancellor assured the team that the University possesses a competent human capacity to handle any Programme up to Ph.D level.

In response, the leader of the NUC team and Director, Dr. Kayode Odedina, explained that their visit aimed to assess the institution’s level of preparedness to run an Open and Distance Learning Center. The NUC requires a minimum benchmark of human and material resources for such a Centre to receive approval.

Dr. Odedina emphasised the importance of ICT in the future of education and all spheres of life. He highlighted that for any institution seeking to operate a distance learning programme, the staff deployed to the Centres must have ICT capacity.

While acknowledging that Distance Learning has been present since 1848, he noted that University of London was the first institution to operate distance learning in Nigeria, benefiting many of the country’s foremost technocrats.

“We are here to see your resources, human and material. Anyone expecting to work in the Centre must be ICT/ODL validated. This involves both academic and non-teaching staff,” he explained.

The NUC Director clarified that the approved ODL programme, though ICT-enabled, is not 100 percent online. It still entails a face-to-face interaction of at least two weeks in a semester. This interaction aims to ensure a robust and effective learning experience for students.

As the University of Calabar embraces the Open and Distance Learning Programme, the leadership’s commitment to quality education remains evident. The University’s history of successful Distance Learning endeavours, coupled with its focus on ICT-enabled education, positions it as a pioneer in modern and accessible learning opportunities for students in Nigeria.