Former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, has stated that Nigeria must double its Open Learning Centres to address the high demand for education and human development.
Okebukola stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja adding that the population of the country is not commensurate with the number of students seeking admission into tertiary institutions.
“We need to double our OLC in the next five years to be able to cope with the demand and the high education participation rate.
“We are about 200 million in Nigeria and we only have space for about 600,000 students in the regular university and for the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), it is about one million. The number is small; it is a drop in the ocean,” Okebukola stated.
He said there are only eleven approved distance learning centres operating under the NOUN presently in the country, adding that “Nigerians generally tend to underrate the quality of education in virtual schools which is not synonymous with the country. It is a global issue.”
He, however, stated that authorities of virtual institutions need to improve facilitation of the learning process, give students the experience that they are attending a school.
“You need to give students the experience of knowing the other members of the class of discipline so that at the end of the training, they are better than their face to face in school counterparts,” Okebukola added.