ODeLan to ensure best ODL practices in Nigeria - Prof Peters

By Inuwa Hamza Yunusa
NOUN VC at the ODeLan conference in Zaria

The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters has said the vision of the Open, Distance e-learning (ODeLAN) is to "serve as  a platform for the adoption of best practices" of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in Nigeria.

Peters spoke in a remark at the opening ceremony of the 2nd International Conference of the ODeLAN, which took place at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

The vice-chancellor, who was the chairman of the occasion, also explained the mission of ODeLan as "to serve as a platform for repositioning growth and development in Nigeria through practice, advocacy, research and engagements."

He described the president of the ODeLan, Prof. Francis Egbokhare, as extremely very tireless in the manner he has provided for the well-being of the association.

The chairman further narrated that ODeLan had its first conference last year at Babcock University and it is no surprising that through the hard work of the executive led by its President "here we are again to do the 2nd conference.

"Therefore, I most thank the Vice-Chancellor, ABU, for accepting to host this very important conference."

He maintained that ABU is not new to ODL and it could in fact be the home of ODL in the country, adding that what ABU is doing today is just living to its expectation.

The NOUN VC expressed delight for being appointed to serve as the chairman for the conference.

"When the Director of Distance Learning came to my office in Abuja to make a request that I should be the chair for the conference, they just needed to have called me by phone I would have carried my legs.

"When he came, he didn't come alone, he came with a gift, most precious of all gifts, I received and showed how appreciative of the gift to me as a VC," he stated.

Speaking on the conference, the VC said the conference would serve as an avenue for all practising ODL professionals to share pool of ideas and practices. 

He opened up on who could be apart or member of the association where he clearly spelled that it is open for individuals and institutions and also encouraged all individuals that have not been members of this association to join as an institution or as individual.

Peters, therefore, wished the host university all the success as it continues to march on its mission objectives and appreciated the steering committee for putting their topmost efforts, time and resources to get the ODeLan where they are. 

The conference, with the theme: "Inclusive Digital Learning Ecosystems In Open, Distance And e-Learning Education," had former Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede as its keynote speaker.

The chairman stated further that participants would be saddled with the responsibility of listening to fantastic addresses from various lead presenters, great speakers and also with all the individual presentations including the "grandfather" of ODL in Nigeria, Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede.

He congratulated all members present and wished ODeLan successful and unlimited growth in the future. 

His Royal Highness, the Emir of Zazzau, the Royal father of the day, was ably represented by Barden Zazzau, the Director University Education, Hajiya Rakiya Iliyasu, and Acting Executive Secretary of  the National Universities Commission (NUC), was also represented by Hajiya Hadiza Ramallan and hosts of other invited dignitaries graced the occasion.