Over 2,000 students were on Wednesday matriculated for the 2017/2018 session in the Distance Learning programme of the University of Ibadan yesterday.
A traditional ruler, Oba Babatunde Osuntoogun, is one of them. The 56-year-old monarch is the Oniwaasinmi of Waasinmi, Ewekoro Local Government of Ogun State. He was admitted for the Bachelor of Arts (English) programme.
Oba Osuntoogu, a school proprietor for 30 years and a traditional ruler for 15 years, said he returned for a degree programme because it has become the minimum academic qualification for major participants in the social, political and economic platforms in the modern world.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abel Olayinka, who addressed the matriculating students, pointed out that distance learning is now globally preferred to the conventional mode.
He explained that there is no disparity between the certificate issued to graduates of the programme and the one issued to those admitted into the conventional mode of learning.
Olayinka, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto, recalled that the centre was established 30 years ago “as the Centre for External Studies because of the need to grant educational access to those who, for sundry reasons, are unable to attend the regular programmes of the university.”
The centre has produced over 10,000 graduates.
In her lecture entitled: “Education on Open and Distance Learning Mode:Tool For Development in 21st Century,” Prof. Senapon Bakre, explained that the population of candidates yearning for university education in Nigeria is growing at an alarming rate to the extent that the existing 152 universities in the country can no longer cope with admissions into the conventional mode. She said the available option to cater for those that are unable to make conventional mode is distance learning.
She urged the students to take full advantage of the learning materials which they can use at their convenience. They include courseware, video, flash drive and other relevant packages. She also urged the lecturers to study harder and make themselves accessible to their students for effective learning.