Vice-Chancellor National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu said should there be any need for comparing NOUN to any Nigerian University, he has no doubt his institution will simply come tops.
The Vice-Chancellor stated this while playing host to a team of world Bank experts on a working visit to Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) at the university headquarters, Abuja.
Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration Prof. Justus Sokefun the Vice-Chancellor said the university within few years has worked steadily in improving the way teaching and learning is carried out in the country by the massive deployment of technology enhanced learning tools to mass produce graduates. “I don’t want to start making comparative analysis between us and other universities with regards to progress made but if the need arises, I have a very strong feeling when that is done we are likely going to be the first”.
He added that as the only Open and distance learning institution in the country and the entire West Africa, NOUN has accomplished a lot in order to change the paradigm of learning from conventional to open and distance learning system.
He pointed out the development of certain courses and its materials like Artificial Intelligence, Management Information System and Cyber Security at both masters and Ph.D. levels which no Nigerian University offers as among the progress the university has made in recent time.
He added that ACETEL as a flagship programme of the university has been and will continue to enjoy unrestricted support of the university’s management.
Earlier the Centre Director ACETEL Prof. Grace Jokthan while briefing the VC said the world bank team were at ACETEL to appraise and guide the centre with its implementation plan in order to meet set benchmarks.
Responding the world Bank team leader, Dr. Dimitrios Noukakis said his team was at NOUN to ensure ACETEL took off rightly and correctly. “ACETEL is a big project not only that, we arrived here to see the commitment from the team. Its impact is not only going to be on the university but the country as a whole which is really the aim of the ACE IMPACT 2 project, which is to have a sustainable long term impact on the higher education level”.
Noukakis added that it is imperative for a Centre of Excellence like ACETEL to get it right at take off with certain tools like its working document. “Starting it right is extremely important that’s why we’re spending a lot of time in designing and working on its implementation plan which will be our road map for the next few years.
“This working document contains disbursement link indicators that clearly spelt out what will be done, where and at what time following globally acceptable practices. The goal now is for the centre to be able to submit this implementation plan then get all the approvals necessary to move on effectively”.
Dr. Noukakis added that for ACETEL to succeed, it will require the full support of the university’s management and the Centre staff as according to him part of the implementation plan concerns the Vice-Chancellor’s office.
“When ACETEL gets it right, by imbibing good practices, there are good chances ahead that the Centre will bequeath same to the university system there by improving the quality of teaching and learning in the university and by implication the country” The meeting also had the presence of the Registrar NOUN Felix Edoka, Africa Centre of Excellence (ACEs) National Project Coordinator NUC, Dr. Joshua Atah among others.