By Felix Khanoba
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has partnered with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to enhance the delivery of its recent launched Open Schooling programme, aimed at providing flexible mode of education to all children of school age in the country.
Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Commission and the Commonwealth of Learning.
He said the programme holds the key to drastically reduce the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria to the barest minimum.
“Open schooling will provide flexible and long distance education to many of our children. The children will be more technology savvy than even those that attended conventional schools,” Bobboyi said.
While saying the present administration has been able to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country from over 13.2 million to the present 10.1 million, the UBEC boss appealed for cooperation from state governments and other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the new programme.
“We need the support and synergy of the states because Federal Government cannot achieve this alone,” Bobboyi added.
Earlier, the President of Commonwealth of Learning, Prof. Aisha Kanwar, said the body is ever ready to give all the needed support to Nigeria’s Open Schooling’s programme as the scheme remain the best bet to effectively tackle out-of-school children problem.
Prof. Aisha, who said about 27 member countries have already adopted Open Schooling programme, cited as an example a fishing community in Trinidad and Tobago, where the scheme was able to bring education to almost all the children in the area.
“Open Schooling or Alternative Schooling is the solution to the problem of out-of-school children. Children want to learn something relevant and with technology they will be able to do that,” she said.
The AUTHORITY reports that COL was created by the Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies in member countries.