ACETEL holds interactive session with ACEs

By Emem Oshionebo

The Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, has said the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) will be a strong arm to strengthen the activities of the university as well as meet the research and development needs in West/Central Africa.

He said this at the interactive session held at the headquarters of the institution by ACETEL with their counterpart ACEs from Benue State University, Bayero University, Kano and Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Osun State.

Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on Technology, Innovation and Research, Prof. Monioluwa Olaniyi, he added that the university is a technology-driven institution and is determined to ensure that ACETEL delivers on its mandate.

“ACETEL team requires the support of the entire university, the academics of NOUN should see the centre as an avenue for research and development,’’ VC said.

In view of this, Peters emphasised that departments and faculties should embrace the opportunities ACETEL provides in the educational sector even as he congratulated the centre for taking up the challenge of the project, despite the delay in funds disbursement.

The Centre Director, Prof. Grace Jokthan in her response, said the interactive session was a product of the Vice-Chancellor’s idea to enhance knowledge sharing and project delivery as well as heighten the understanding of the management on the task ahead.

Jokthan explained that ACETEL focuses on three main pillars: research, academic programmes and professional training.

She commended the crucial role that NOUN has been playing in the actualisation of these pillars since the inception of the ACE in July 2019.

Jokthan further exposed the statistics of students in the project, including the West Africa sub regions, ranging from Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Gambia, etc.

‘‘It is important for me to explain these statistics as the project demands certain indicators that we must deliver,’’ she stated.

She took off time to explain that the five-year programme within the period of existence have been able to win research grants from Digital Science and Technology Network (DSTN) and Digital Education Network (ADEN).

The ACEs all took turns to engage elaborately on diverse levels of interactive sessions in line with the required indicators for the project, even as the representative for Centre for Food Technology and research (CEFTER), Dr. Barnabas Ikyo intimated the participants with the overall objective of the ACE project.

He said the objective is to enhance the quality of higher education in West/Central Africa by encouraging regional organisation and sharing of resources, thus encouraging innovative research to support African countries in developing ideologies and establish excellence in research.

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