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Monday, June 17, 2024

Nigerian Govt restates commitment to girl-child education

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The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, says the ministry is working assiduously in sensitising stakeholders toward ensuring the provision of quality and affordable education to the girl-child.

Tallen disclosed this on Thursday at a one-day virtual/physical international colloquium at the Distance Learning Institute (DLI) of the University of Lagos(Unilag).

The theme of the colloquium is: Recalibrating Open Distance Education and E-Learning for Resilient and Inclusive Education.

According to her, part of the efforts is developing a national strategy document that will ensure zero child marriage in the country by the year 2030.

“Over the years, crisis and other factors apart from Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have disrupted the education of the Nigerian child (girl-child).

“And these are indeed the future generation of this country.

“Fully aware of the dangers that this trend poses to national development, the ministry has also ensured that the Child Right Act 2003 was passed in 26 states and VAPP Act of 2015, passed in 19 states, among other strategies,” Tallen noted.

She acknowledged that the advent of COVID-19 had redefined the narrative and dynamics of learning processes globally, noting that e-learning had become inevitable.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, described the theme of the conference as timely and part of the institution’s modest effort in guaranteeing and improving seamless access to quality tertiary education.

“This, we do through a blended approach for the fulfilment of individual’s academic aspirations.

“Permit me to state here that the DLI in the University of Lagos, has been recording success stories in all its programmes.

“This institute has accorded countless individuals from all walks of life the opportunity and the right platform to pursue tertiary education to meet their peculiar needs.

“The Distance Learning Institute of the University of Lagos started as the Correspondence and Open Studies Unit (COSU) in 1973.

“It metamorphosed into the Correspondence and Open Studies Institute (COSIT) in 1983 and later in 1997, it became the Distance Learning Institute.

“Through the evolution of the institute, it has continued to grow and lead in the provision of Quality Open Distance and Life-Long Education opportunities for producing high-level skilled manpower through a blended mode,” Ogundipe stated.

He added that in support of this pursuit, management of the institution had continued to pay close attention to the improvement of ICT facilities available at the institute.

He added that this had in turn yielding good results as evident in the hitch-free conduct of online examinations conducted at the institute over the years.

Prof. Uchenna Udeani, Director of the DLI, said the main objective of the colloquium was to bring together international and national Open Distance Education and E-Learning practitioners to deliberate on the irreversible changes that have come to higher education through two major sources.

“These sources are global development and COVID-19 pandemic; and proper solutions for repositioning the Open Distance Education and E-learning for resilience and inclusiveness,” she said.

According to her, education at all levels has changed forever and the speed of change taking place today means educators must act quickly and boldly to keep up.

She added that by focusing on inclusivity, resilience and digital transformation, educational institutions could build competitive advantage.

The don noted that Open and Distance Education was one strategy that enabled economic, social, political and digital justice.

“This is in part, the essence of this colloquium,” Udeani stated.

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