News & Updation
PROMOTING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY EDUCATION THROUGH ONLINE LEARNING SYSTEMS
Dr. Wilson Nwankwo*
Information Technology-Assisted Learning (ITAL) is one of the evolving areas of Information Communications Technology (ICT) revolution which has attracted much attention and subsequent investments around the world due to its potentials in addressing the socio-economic challenges arising from literacy gap, ever-growing population, economy, increasing demand for higher education, etc.
Though used in some limited scopes such as online learning, virtual learning, e-learning, etc., ITAL depicts a learning environment that lies outside the static boundaries of the physical classroom that conventionally involves a tutor relaying the learning material directly to the recipients often in a physical classroom setting. In the last decade, ITAL has taken a toll on the design of academic programs especially in developed countries leading to high flexibility and unlimited possibilities in the use of the scarce human and material resources in achieving great feat in educational development. Consequently, a special crop of Universities called Online Universities whose mode of content delivery is through online classrooms and other internet-based platforms has emerged. However, the situation is different in Nigeria, a country whose educational policies are somewhat inflexible as to adapt to changing circumstances. This paper is an attempt to review the current state of affairs in Nigeria’s University education policies in a bid to draw attention to the urgent need to resuscitate the deteriorating system through the introduction and standardization of online learning platforms supported by cutting-edge information technologies in order to remedy the inequities across the various social layers of the society in need of higher education. This paper employs an exploratory method in data gathering with emphasis on documentary evidence, secondary data across online databases, policy documents, legislations, and survey of modern information technologies. Analysis is based on descriptive references to and submissions on various educational developments and problems with policy implementation as they affect equity and access to University education. Thereafter, recommendation is made towards promoting accessibility to University education through ITAL and subsequent standardization and promulgation of implementable policies that will drive the actualization of proposed system in Nigerian Universities.