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ACDE president calls for synergy in distance learning devt in Africa.

THE president of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) and vice chancellor of the Open University of Sudan, Professor Abdelraouf Ahmed Abbas, has called for more synergy in the development of Open and Distance Learning in the continent.

Abbas made the call when he visited the headquarters of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Abuja, where he underscored the role and critical importance of the university to the council and other ODL institutions in Africa.

Accompanied by the secretary, Academic Affairs of the Open University of Sudan, Professor Mohammed Abo Imam, Abbas was received by the management of NOUN led by the vice chancellor, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu.

Professor Abbas noted that his visit to NOUN headquarters was the first in his capacity as the council's president, saying NOUN with its vast experience in ODL has a critical role to play in strengthening the open distance education in the continent.

He also solicited the support of NOUN in advancing the course of the council, especially in view of its spread and students size, which places it amongst the top ODL institutions in Africa.

He asked the vice chancellor of NOUN to lead the efforts to reposition the council so as to ensure a robust collaboration and exchange of study materials and students between sister universities on the continent.

Abbas also requested NOUN to allow one of its staff, Professor Rotimi Ogidan, who is the executive secretary of ACDE based at the headquarters of the council in Kenya, to see off his tenure in 2019 which, he said, was another pointer to NOUN's critical importance to the council and ODL in Africa.

On the development of ODL in Sudan, Abbas said since his appointment as the OUS vice-chancellor, a number of transformations had taken place in the university.

On his part, Professor Adamu welcomed the visiting president to the NOUN headquarters and assured him of the full support towards the sustenance of the council's activities.

Adamu, who is also the 1st vice president of the council, acknowledged that heading the continental body like the ACDE is tasking, but urged the president to focus more on tackling the challenges facing the council and ODL institutions in Africa.

He particularly mentioned areas that need urgent attention of the council, which include the attitude towards ACDE by member bodies, as well as the need for a rotational but tenured system in the executive secretary's position, which NOUN has been holding for years.

Adamu also solicited for the creation of a central fund apart from the annual dues from member institutions, from which the council's executive secretary and other staff could be paid their salaries.

He said in Nigeria, the status of ODL is rising fast, with young Nigerians even outnumbering the more mature ones in enrollment into the university.

As such, he called on ACDE to boost partnership amongst sister universities in areas of students' exchange, study materials and the development of a common template for ODL in Africa, rather than relying on the European system.

He said NOUN had agreed to allow Professor Ogidan to finish his tenure as the executive secretary of the ACDE despite the financial burden, even as he also requested the council to assist in the enrollment of people in the IDP camps from across the country.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Dec 28, 2017
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