By Emmanuel Elebeke
DIRECTOR of University of Lagos, UNILAG,Â Distance Learning Institute, Professor VictorÂ Owhotu, has called for full integration of distant learning education system in the country andÂ described it as criticalÂ to national development.
Owhotu said sinceÂ the formal education system can no longer meet the needs of the greater population of aspiring Nigerian students, the adoption of distant learning education becomes the best belt to cushion the effect of inefficiency in the formal system.
The Director who spoke at the formal inauguration of the Institute Alumni Association, noted that distant learning education system had become a critical factor in the process of nation buildingÂ the world over.
He said, â€œAvailable evidence had shown that the formal education system can no longer accommodate the need of the great population of students aspiring for education all over the world, hence the need for adoption of distant learning system of education by different countries across the globe.
For this reasonÂ the Federal Government of Nigeria was at the forefront of the launching of open executive learning campaign in the country aboutÂ two years ago, even after the same government had been so reluctant to support the idea.
It is also for this reasonÂ the common wealth of learning, organized the first international conference on distant education for the common wealth nations in AbujaÂ recently.â€
The Director cited United Kingdom and South Africa as good examples of countries where distant education had offered education to over two million and 360,000 students respectively, who otherwise would have been denied the opportunity to acquire education.
Performing the inauguration ceremony, the President, University ofÂ Lagos Alumni Association, Professor Olaide Abass said the purpose of the association was to provide an avenue for the former students of the institution to partner with the management of the university for the development of the institution.
He said the association was committed to partnering with the university in its development efforts and inÂ promoting the ideals and excellent agendaÂ the institution is known for.
He however, charged the members of the association to be good ambassadors of the university by distinguishing themselves anywhere they may find themselves in the service of the nation.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of Distant Learning Institute students association, Mr. Gerald Nzekwe said the objective of the alumni association was to gather all their past students together and thinker on how best to help their alma mater in moving forward.
Through the association, he said the members would be able to help and assist one another in the area of need.