By Felix Khanoba
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has advocated for a full digital transformation as well as a high level of proficiency in the application of computer software to ensure effective service delivery of staff working in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institutions.
NUC’s Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration), Chris Maiyaki, stated this while speaking on the topic: “Role of Administrative Staff in the Delivery of Quality Open and Distance Education in the Nigerian University System,” at the virtual graduation ceremony of a Special Open and Distance Learning Training (SOLDT) for NOUN’s senior administrative staff.
The 3-week intensive virtual training had the university’s Governing Council Chairman, Prof. Peter A. Okebukola as the Facilitator General, with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, as one of the facilitators.
A statement made available to The AUTHORITY on Wednesday and signed by Ibrahim Sheme- Director, Media and Publicity of NOUN, said the Deputy Executive Secretary posited that retraining and re-tooling, competence in setting up a virtual learning for ODL facilitation through which the students can communicate have become necessary for the optimal functionality of the system.
Maiyaki, who was the Guest Lecturer at the ceremony, said “for an administrator working in an ODL system, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) driven is not sufficient, but there must be preparedness for full digital transformation, proficiency in the application of computer software.’’
According to him, an administrative staff is not only a stakeholder but a life enhancer due to the complexity of the job that include managing Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and supervision of e-examination, which made him an all-rounder in the scheme of things.
He stated that it is generally believed that compelling, eroded work ethics with administrative and organisational management systems are partly responsible for the inability of it to rise to the occasion, adding that all arms of ODL must rise and operate in full strength.
In his welcome address, Facilitator-General, Prof. Peter A. Okebukola, stated that the SODTL for Admin Staff on CONTISS 7-15 was geared towards setting up and managing e-learning platforms for quality university education.
He said part of the objectives of the training was informed by the Governing Council’s and University Senate’s framework of NOUN 2019-2022 Transformation Agenda.
Okebukola, who is a former NUC Executive Secretary, told the graduands that the need to strengthen their capacity as well as support the delivery courses that will lead to significant improvement in the quality of NOUN graduates also convinced the university to embark on the training of its admin staff.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, on his part, said the training, which gamut of all cadres of staff in the university, has placed it in a position to train all the 174 universities of the country in the area of ODL.
Adamu also congratulated the participants from across all the study centres of the institution for their resilience, saying that “We are ready to export you to the whole world so that people will know that NOUN is simply the best. We are ready to train other universities because we have embraced the new normal.”
It could be recalled that similar training for the university’s academic staff was conducted virtually two months ago, while another one for the junior staff commenced this week.
About 733 staff from all study centres spread across the country, including members of the university management took part in the training.