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Thursday, 1 December 2011

ASSESSMENT 4


E-LEARNING AND DISTANCE EDUCATION IN NIGERIA


Article Review Slide


Article Review

Introduction
This article is written by Timothy Olugbenga Ajadi, Ibrahim, Olatunde Salawu, & Femi, Adetunji frok Adeoye School of Education, National Open University of Nigeria and published by The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology (TOJET) October 2008 ISSN: 1303-6521 volume 7 Issue 4 Article 7. The purpose of this paper is to review the relevance of e-learning in the position of distance education in Nigeria. It commences by discussing the meaning of e-learning and distance education. It also discusses the historical background of distance education in Nigeria as well as the operations of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) as the first federal University in Nigeria dedicated to the provision of education through distance mode. Furthermore, the paper highlights the prospects and challenges of e-learning in the operation of National Open University of Nigeria.

Findings
The current enrolment of NOUN is Forty-three thousand, two hundred and fifty four (43,254). Ten Thousand and twenty-six students enrolled for the 2003/2004 academic session in various schools as shown below while Sixteen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eight-Seven (16,987) enrolled for 2005/2006 academic sessions, while Sixteen thousand, Two Hundred and Forty-One (16,241), has enrolled for 2007/2008 academics session as at 9th of June, 2008.
The number of registered learners in NOUN is higher than the enrolment of any conventional university in the country as at today. (Fig. 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3). Considering the importance of life-long education and NOUN in its desire to uphold the principle of flexibility offered concession admission for matured-aged candidates whose age is 35 years and above with work experience in relevant areas. Also fall in this category is the Access Programme which is open to the candidates whose ordinary level results do not qualify them for a direct admission into the 100 or 200 level of a degree programme. The programme enables the candidate to acquire the necessary knowledge and skill in at most any two subjects they are deficient.


Challenges of e-learning in NOUN
The major problems facing the proper implementation of e-learning in Nigerian institutions in
general and NOUN in particular are as follows:
• Inequality of access to the technology itself by all the NOUN students the so called digital divide: The cost of a Personal Computer (PC) and Laptop are still very high in Nigeria considering the income level of an average worker in the country. Few of the NOUN students that are privileged to have a PC/Laptop are not connected to the internet as this do attract extra cost which they cannot afford.
• Technophobia: Most of the student admitted by NOUN have no computer education background, hence they are afraid of operating one, some go to the extent of hiring expert at a cost to fill their admission, registration and other document meant for them to fill online. However, the very few who have access to the computer do not know how to use it and maximize it usage.
• Internet Connectivity: The cost of accessing internet is still very high in West Africa. It is as high as $8/Kbps, while it costs a ridiculous amount of $0.52/Kbps in North Africa and even lesser in Europe. Most of NOUN Students make use of Cyber CafĂ© who charges between #100.00 and #150.00 per hour despite their poor service and slow rate of their server
• School Curriculum: Most of the students admitted by NOUN have no information technology/computer education knowledge because it was not entrenched in the curriculum at their elementary and secondary education level. Not until recently when computer education is been introduced at elementary level and it is not yet a compulsory subject at the secondary level of our education.
• Attitude of NOUN Students: ICT refutes independent learning and most of NOUN students are reluctant to take responsibility for their own learning. But they preferred to be spoon-fed at all times.
• Software and License cost: It is very expensive to get some of the soft wares because they are
not developed locally, they are developed in Europe and other developed countries to suit their
own system and make their own living. The cost and even the interpretation of the software put off some of the NOUN students who showed interest.
• Maintenance and Technical Support: There are few technical staff to maintain the system, this make it very expensive for few NOUN students that has a PC to maintain when a technical problem is noticed.
• Electricity: The perennial problem in Nigeria is the problem of electricity instability which has been a major setback for our technological development. Some of NOUN students that reside in cities and towns are faced with the problem of epileptic supply of electricity. While majority of them live in rural areas that are not connected to the national grid

Conclusion
Overall in this study, The survival of tertiary education institutions in the 21st century will increasingly rely on various forms of electronic delivery and communication inside a market place that requires education to be flexible. e-learning is now widely used in most of the developed countries to promote distance education (DE) and life-long learning in an effective way. In Nigeria, the recent developments and awareness of the Government on ICT have opened an opportunity to adopt e-learning to deliver distance education for educating mass of its uneducated or less educated peoples. Considering the recent expansion of ICTs in the country, NOUN could introduce some modern ICT like e-mail, web-based learning (e.g. open course wares), CD-ROM for delivering its course materials through e-learning for its learners. However, before going to introduce an advanced ICT in NOUN, it is suggested that enough research be conducted on learner’s access, cost and other related parameters essential for it.



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