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Educationist urges e-learning

Mr Ishan Abeywardena, an Open Educational Resources Adviser with the Commonwealth of Learning based in Canada, on Wednesday urged Nigerian youths to embrace online-open-distance-learning institutions.

Abeywardena told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that these learning institutions have the same credibility as the conventional institutions. He said that the open distance learning was a very essential tool to educate the masses and increase access to western education.

The adviser said that the world had moved from `a stage-on-a stage to a guide on the side,’ adding that online learning was the future of higher institutions of learning. According to him, usually in a conventional institution, lecturers or professors stand in front of their classes, dictate notes and assignments. They also direct their students on whatever topics they wanted their students to learn, he said.

“However, in the open-and-distance learning, students are giving self-directed materials, which they can google from the internet, and study at their own pace.

“The accuracy of the materials given out to students in the open-and-distance learning situation is better than what a lecturer or professor is teaching in a conventional institution.

“Also in countries like Nigeria and India, with large population waiting to gain admissions into higher institutions of learning and universities, online learning is a quick solution.

“It is not a very visible proposition for developing countries like Nigeria for its government to establish tertiary institutions of learning that can accommodate all those seeking admissions,’’ he said.

Abeywardena urged government to provide platforms and policies that would support and encourage admission seekers to embrace online education. He said if policies were not formulated, discrimination and common interests would impede the growth and development of distance learning. The education expert urged youths, especially admission seekers, to consider working and learning simultaneously. He said youths could seek employment while schooling to save time and resources.

“Why not work while you learn; nowadays, employers prefer to employ workers who are studying on part-time basis because they are more adaptable to workplace and serious situations,’’ he said.

Abeywardena said that flexible and open distance learning would encourage youths to work while studying as part-time students.

“Online students can adapt to different situations, they are good workers because they can hit the ground running, they come with a burden level which are secured, especially, for communication skills.

“Open-distance learning is a very positive step; the Open University of UK is constantly ranked among the top 10 universities in the UK. “There is no discrimination between accredited universities and the open universities in developed countries anymore because most universities are also embracing online.

“Very soon, there will be no line between open distance learning and the conventional learning,” he said.


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Image credit: Wikipedia. Education.

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Comet Training is a trading name for The Penny Ferry (Pty) Ltd, a limited liability company established in 1996. The Penny Ferry has been involved in hands-on training and e-learning for many years, specializing in the Marine, Environmental, Tourism, Industrial, Health and Technical markets. Through close associations with other organizations, Comet Training was established to better promote a suite of e-learning applications to the global markets.