NBTE, CoL Hold Stakeholders Meeting to Review ODFEL Policy for Nigerian TVET

The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) held a stakeholders' meeting to further review and fine-tune the draft policy and come up with the final national policy/strategy and procedures on Open, Distance and Flexible e-Learning (ODFEL) for the Nigerian TVET sector.

While declaring open the three-day meeting which was held at the NBTE Centre of Excellence (CoE) for TVET in Kaduna, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, Dr. Masa'udu Adamu Kazaure said that when the review process is completed, the Board would provide copies of the documents to all stakeholders as well as ensure that the ODFEL Policy and Strategy is ratified and implemented throughout the TVET sector.

Dr. Kazaure who was represented at the meeting by the Director of Vocational Technical and Skills Development Department (VT&SD) of the Board, Engr. Abbati Dawakin-Kudu Mohammed said that the documents, which have been submitted to the Governing Board of NBTE for noting, would be forwarded to the National Council on Education (NCE) for approval.

“Once approved by the NCE, the policy would be a national document available for usage and implementation by all relevant stakeholders in the country”, he added, disclosing also that 29 Polytechnics have already been recommended to commence the Open, Distance and Flexible e-Learning (ODFEL) in Nigeria.

Dr. Kazaure stated that the Open learning, distance education and flexible learning are teaching and flexible e-learning approaches that focus on opening access to education and training provisions, freeing learners from the constraints of time and place thereby offering adaptive and flexible learning opportunities to individuals and group of learners.

In his explanation, “Open, Distance and Flexible e-Learning (ODFEL) refers to a system of teaching and learning characterized by separation of teacher and learner in time and/or space; the use of multiple media for delivery of instruction or instructional materials; involves two-way communication and occasional face-to-face meeting for tutorials and learner-learner interaction”.

In a remark, the facilitator of the meeting and Consultant of the Commonwealth of Learning, Dr. Philips Uys commended the NBTE for providing alternative learning opportunities in the TVET institutions.

He noted that with the advantages of modern technologies, institutions can leverage on the benefits to expand access to education without inhibitions.

Also speaking, the representative of the Director, Centre of Excellence for TVET, Mr. Jeremiah Emokhare who expressed the appreciation of the Board to all stakeholders at the meeting, noted that there was no better time to widen access to education than now considering the number of students seeking tertiary education annually. He commended the Board for ensuring that TVET institutions are not left behind.

In a goodwill message, the representative of the M8 Global Network, Dr. Lovedays Egbedion described the initiative as novel. He noted that the project will reposition the educational system for global competiveness.

Observations and recommendations were made at the end of the stakeholders meeting in which participants made valuable contributions to add value to the document and ultimately to the proposed ODFL Policy.

The participants who noted that the introduction of ODFEL in TVET will expand access to education as well as create the required and skilled manpower need for the country further resolved that all relevant and critical stakeholders should be identified and involved in the processes that will lead to the actualization of ODFEL in TVET institutions in the country. They reiterated the need to develop a comprehensive Human Resource Information Systems for TVET; need to encourage institutions to design and develop Institutional Policy and Strategy on ODFEL based on the NBTE template; need for synergy and resource pooling among stakeholders; need for more advocacy and sensitization to increase awareness of ODFEL in TVET institutions across the country; NBTE to strengthen Learner Support Services in TVET institutions as well as called for an expanded stakeholders meeting to discuss action plan and implementation strategies in due course.