ACETEL welcomes ACEs as international digital network takes centre stage

By Emem Oshionebo

The Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, has said the team at the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) is poised and ready to take up any challenge.

The Vice-Chancellor said this on Friday, 20th August, 2020 while hosting representatives of the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACEs) from the Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science and Applications, University of Abomey- Calavi, Benin Republic, who were on a learning visit to ACETEL.

Prof. Peters described the ACETEL team as the best, considering the giant strides the team has recorded since its inception, under its centre director, Prof. Grace E. Jokthan.

“NOUN ACETEL’s collaboration with ACEs will be kept on a higher level,” he said.

The team lead, Dr. Jules Degile, who expressed his profound gratitude to the NOUN Vice-Chancellor, disclosed that their visit to the centre was to strengthen their collaborative research for the Digital Science and Technology Network (DSTN) project.

Degile added that the visit will further improve access to education in the Open and Distant Learning (ODL) system in their institution even as they braced to intimate themselves with the facilities at the university.

On her part, ACETEL centre director, Prof. Jokthan, informed the VC that the visit was in furtherance of the guidelines of ACETEL counterpart funding, which will requires her team to pay similar visit to the Republic of Benin.

She said the 3-day visit aims to maximise their time, which also involved a brief meeting and orientation on NOUN and ACETEL.

The team, later, progressed on a tour to the Directorates of Learning Content Management System, Management Information System and other relevant departments to the digital science and technology operations.

Beyond the NOUN headquarters, the DSTN research visit took the team to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), leveraging on the existing partnership with ACETEL to support the DSTN research project.

Director of Information Technology and Infrastructure Solution of the agency, Dr. Kambo Abdullahi and his Management Team, who received the entourage, traced the mutual working relationship with ACETEL and NOUN spanning over three years.

Abdullahi took time off to elaborate on the diverse benefits of the collaboration for both organisations.

He also gave a detailed presentation on the mandate of NITDA as he emphasised on the benefits of global digital economy through collaborations with international organisations.

“I am privileged to be part of those sponsoring the ACETEL programmes through facilitation,” he said.

The director added that the centre plays a major role in digital literacy and skills, which is one of the strategic pillars of NITDA with the target to achieve 95% of digital literate Nigerians by 2030.

NOUN and ACETEL, he said, will be crucial towards the realisation of the set target.

The visiting team was intimated with the various activities of the departments, including the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).