NBTE, COL review ODL policy for polytechnics

National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) with support from Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has concluded a review of the National Policy on Open, Distance and Flexible Learning (ODFL) for Nigerian Polytechnics.
NBTE Executive Secretary, Dr.
Mas’ud Kazaure, said at the close of a three-day meeting with relevant stakeholders to review the draft policy in Kaduna that the document would soon be approved for implementation.
Represented by Abbati Mohammed, a director at the board, Kazaure said that the final document would be submitted to the NBTE governing board for vetting before it would be sent to the National Council on Education for approval.
“We have a duty to ensure that our youths have access to technical education for the needed industrialisation for socio-economic development”, he said.
Earlier at the opening of the stakeholders’ meeting, Kazaure had said that the board had recommended 29 polytechnics to pioneer the ODFL.
Also speaking, COL Consultant, Dr.
Philip Uys, said that the policy was the only solution to alternative delivery of technical education to Nigerian youths.
“This is because it will require millions of dollars to build enough traditional universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to cater for the educational needs of Nigerian youths.
“The focus of this policy, strategy and procedures, therefore, is to open access to technical education using modern technology such as computers, mobile phones and other devices.
“We will finalise the document hopefully by end of July with Commonwealth of Learning and send it back to NBTE to undergo normal process of approval by the relevant bodies.” One of the participants, Dr Yusuf Lawal of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, said that the policy was long overdue considering the huge number of youths seeking higher education.
“Certificate has become a meal ticket; so, youths don’t want to be left out in acquiring one but access has remained a major challenge which the ODFL policy seeks to address.” Lawal, however, stressed the need for high level advocacy and sensitisation for stakeholders to embrace it to take the youths off the streets and end their frustration.

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