By Jeremiah Archibong
Cross Riverians and Nigerians at large have been urged to embrace distance learning as a panacea to bridging the gap already created by over population and queuing behind regular institutions.
The charge was made jointly by Dr. Etim Okon of the Department of Religion and Cultural Studies and Dr. Mike Okom of the Department of Law, both of the University of Calabar, UNICAL while speaking at a one day interactive session in Calabar.
While speaking at the event which was organized by the Chartered Institute of Educational Management and Administration, CIEMA, Dr. Okon maintained that government at all levels should take proactive measures in strengthening our educational system because it is nothing to write home about at the moment.
According to him distance learning is the best alternative “because it is from the comfort of your home and job”.
He further asserted that, education illuminates and called on government at all levels to think of creative ways of taking learning to the masses through television, radio and social media, arguing that the web is a university of its own that can liberate the mind.
On his part, Dr. Mike Okom while speaking maintained that before venturing into any distance learning program, interested participants should first of all cross check the legal aspect of the institution of interested because there are many of such fake schools and quacks.
According to Dr. Mike who is also a lawyer, part of what should be enquired of is the certification from the relevant government agencies and if the regulations establishing and regulating the institution give them permit to run distance learning program; and if the answer is yes and proven certification wise, it is good to go.
He attested to have perused the certification of CIEMA and they are genuine. Both speakers criticized the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN saying it is below standard with its counterpart in countries like India and Great Britain from where it’s model was copied to the later but could not be implemented it to the later because of unfavorable environment.
Also speaking, the Registrar Chartered Institute of Educational Management and Administration of Nigeria and Africa General Coordinator of CIEMA, Dr. David Okunola maintained that part of the rationale of CIEMA is to bridge the gap, to maintain and enhance the dignity, prestige and status of the profession.
To uphold, regulate and control the integrity and professional conduct, and to preserve the independence of Educational Managers and Administrators. To promote the skills, efficiency, service and responsibility of the profession.
To establish and maintain a high standard of education and knowledge. To provide accredited training services, conduct qualifying examinations and/or assessment. To establish, promote and/or administer educational programs, Training Workshop, Seminars, Symposium among others.
He disclosed that CIEMA has branches in over 9 States of the federation to include Akwa Ibom, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja while in Cross River State their current partners are Grace Bible and Seminary Calabar and Accept Polytechnic Calabar where they are currently hosting their study centers.
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