The trends in the job market have changed. This is observed particularly in the IT and computing industry. Now it’s so unpredictable that nobody knows who will manage to impress the employer- those having traditional degree or the self-learners.


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Traditional learners take formal training from campus based education format. Where students dedicate reasonable amount to time and money to get the qualification. Whereas self-learners might opt for Online IT diploma courses. Online diploma in information technology programmes allows students to take quality and flexible study option at affordable cost.

Online education has the potential to engage and deliver key learning and skill to the students. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is the online learning platform that offers standard education for free. Here students can learn the latest IT and computing skills. Besides, there top online institutes which dispense comprehensive, qualitative, practical and industry based learning.

10 Smar Tips For Effective Online Study

More presentations from Leona Sharon

Learning In The New Format

According to the Global Developer Economics: State of the developer Nation, a survey conducted with 13,000 plus developers by the VisionMobile shows that 46% of the prompt developers have not learnt computer science from institutes. The report shows that 45% HTML5/Javascript developer belongs to this group. The survey reveals that HTML5/Javascript developer comprising 29% had learnt self and have no formal training for scripting languages.


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The survey also shows that the providers of MOOCs have the pivotal role which has helped developers to obtain skills in the related field. This includes skills such as Ruby and Python. Besides, there are MOOC programmes for Android, iOS app and web development alongside data science.

According to Coursera Technology Vertical Manager Kevin Mills, “The typical Coursera learner taking a programming or other technology course has a bachelor’s degree, is currently employed, and is between 22 and 35 years of age. Among these learners, it is about an even split between those looking to begin a new career in programming versus those seeking to advance their existing programming skills.”

There are also e-learning institutes delivering essential learning through online diploma in computing courses which facilitate relevant skill building to the students.

Time & Money Factor

Time and money are two most valuable things in life. Effective use of time is indispensable. Ask any person on the plant what is the importance of time? I am sure even school children would be able to tell you the importance of time. In the present day, time management is crucial for success. Now the question arises- Does one have ample time to attend hours of lecture in the classroom, travel and study at home? What if education system allows students to study from anywhere and anytime, which will save plenty of time. I have seen students taking the online diploma in computing and using remaining time for enhancing their knowledge.

Online IT diploma programmes including that of the MOOC does not only saves crucial time by money as well. Online diploma in information technology courses offered by online institutes is low priced. Whereas in MOOC app and web development and others are free.

So, why would anybody spend additional time and money? Especially when they have the tool like online learning that helps them to attain their purpose?

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook has greater aim beyond digital communication. He believes to with knowledge mankind can develop his abilities. He feels with the help of the available resources necessary assistance can be provides so that the children can attain education. In his recent Facebook post Zuckerberg wrote that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are expecting their first baby. An article published in CNN Money has confirmed the news. In the article Facebook CEO told, “Soon we’re going to be parents,”.

He also said, “And we care deeply about doing everything we can so all children — not just ours — can grow up and achieve their full potential.”

Underserved education

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The article published in CNN has reflected the bigger goal of CEO of the Facebook. To cater meaningful education to the whole, particularly the underserved, can transform many lives and upgrading the knowledge system. Read on.

The Foundation

Zuckerberg is exploring all the meaning full and possible ways to engage the underserved into education. The CNN Money wrote that the a non-profit education foundation “Startup:Education” formed in 2010 , is owned by Zuckerberg and Priscilla has granted $120 million to abet education programme for five years in the local community of the of San Francisco.

Essence Of Knowledge

The essence of education cannot be denied. In fact, Zuckerberg plan to support the cause for education is part of long term vision. He has understood that knowledge could bring desired changes in the society by eliminating the illiteracy and poverty. This the capability of self-reliance could be developed among the uderserved, particularly the student.

Need Based Learning System

Facebook CEO intends to develop a learning system with personalised education. Where the study material and instruction by the educators is designed to meet the want of the learner. The CNN report said, “ Chan is starting a K- 12 school called ‘The Primary School,”. It wrote, “The private, nonprofit institution in East Palo Alto will be geared toward low-income students and attendance will be free. Healthcare will be included.”

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The report says, “Zuckerberg already supports Summit Public Schools; KIPP, a network of 183 charter schools; and AltSchool, a small group of private schools that focuses on mixed-age learning,” according to the article.

Going The Right Way

Zukerberg and Priscilla want to use the fund in the most appropriate manner. The intend to make public schools a better place for learning. The betterment of these schools would happen at interstate level instead of not focusing at particular area or the region.

Supporting The Noble Cause

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The drive to support the cause of education is a welcome initiative. Mark and Priscilla have realised to need to uplift the underserved. Their health issues and other aspects has been critically understood by the the Facebook couple. Mark has many times pointed that with the available technology and resources the underserved can be served. Referring the noble programme we hope that the goal is achieved. The society learns from the Facebook couple and steps forward to support such endeavours.

Post your comments by sharing your experience and insights.

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Although the Nigerian government is taking numerous steps to improve the education system in the nation, it seems that making education easily accessible to all still appears to be a distant dream. Why? The reason is Nigeria continues to make a notably poor appearance in the global ratings.

Nigeria Is Lagging Behind

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 In the recent Global Competitiveness Index for 2012/2013, a survey that analyses the quality of macroeconomic environment, the condition of national public institutions and their level of technological acceptance, Nigeria was ranked 148 among 196 nations and retained a 3.50 score. This same score was also recorded in the 2011/2012 review. The country is currently behind other African nations namely Cameroon (3.61); Ghana (3.65); Benin (3.78); Kenya (3.82); and South Africa (4.34).

According to the World Economic Forum, which conducted the study, the 3.50 score recorded by Nigeria is pretty low in the rating index, especially when compared to other African countries. Academic experts believe that this is a result of the void present in the existing educational system. Adeyemi Abdul-Rasaq, a research analyst, believes the unhealthy education sector in the country has created a huge gap in the development of technological progress. He made the comments based on the fact that none of the Nigerian universities appeared in the best 85 universities among the 7,000 globally recognised universities in the survey.

Hope For Learners 

However, it should be noted that in the past few years, many organisations have taken the initiative to support the development efforts of the Nigerian education system. Moreover, they are actively assisting institutions and governments to improve the academic standards in the country. Usually these supports come through adoption of schools, renovations, investing in schools, scholarship programmes, teachers training programmes etc.

To help achieve the goal of education for all, Guinness Nigeria supported the development of technological education by offering sponsorship to 10 learners for a technical training programme at the Institute of Industrial Technology (IIT). Olumide Akinjo, Director of the Institute, said “The purpose of this programme is to use technical and vocational training to close the gap in educational development and we are happy to have an able supporter such as Guinness Nigeria Plc that have supported some our students towards achieving their dreams.”

Regarding the contribution of Guinness, company spokesperson Mrs. Nkiruka Ogboruche, commented that the company is always determined to support the aspirations and dreams of the youths and encourage them to become valuable members of society. She said “At Guinness Nigeria, we are always happy to be involved with worthy projects that can add tremendous value to the lives of Nigerians. This sort of support forms a core part of our community investment agenda and we will continue to support Nigeria and Nigerians through initiatives and activities that uplift them.”

Creating A Better Scenario 


The support provided by Guinness has offered a chance to youths to achieve their goals. The fact remains that an effective and noteworthy shift, which assures support for vocational and technical institutions and the learners, has numerous benefits for the entire nation at large. This will result in the rise of a skilled generation of Nigerian youths who can eradicate the skill gap and add significant value to the economy.

What do you think? Share your views and ideas with us by commenting below.

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Business education has certainly become one of the most popular programmes for students aspiring to higher education qualifications across the globe. This is not surprising as after the recent global financial crisis, the job market has become increasingly competitive and employers have become more stringent about the recruitment process. A business degree can help graduates get an edge over others and make them eligible for a number of employment opportunities in various fields. Hence more and more students are now planning to pursue business studies from reputed universities and B-schools, whether online or on-campus.

Demand For Business Study

Recently The Guardian Postgraduate Guide for 2015 was released which offers an overview of various courses available at UK universities this year. All the courses have been categorised into a total of 52 subject areas. Overall, the guide includes courses available at around 2,000

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This year’s guide revealed 2 major trends, the growing popularity of business programmes and the rise in the number of foreign students who come to the United Kingdom to earn postgraduate degrees. Most of the full-time postgraduate students in Britain are now international learners.

Most Popular Subjects

The Guardian 2015 Postgraduate Guide assures that hard-headed are prevalent as a result of the

challenging economic scenario. The new guide uses statistics from 2012-2013, which is the most recent year from which government data is available. In the specified year, business, management and marketing, were the most popular postgraduate subjects among students, both regarding universities offering the subject and students pursuing it.

Around 121 providers offered business, management and marketing in the tables prepared by The Guardian. Moreover, over 70,000 students were registered for taught postgraduate courses in business. An additional 17,000 students were studying the related topics namely finance and accounting. Next on the list of most popular subject was Education with around 71,000 taught postgraduate students and 97 providers. Most of them were pursuing PGCE teaching qualifications instead of a full master’s degree.

Here is a list of the top 5 most popular subjects:

Subjects Providers Taught postgraduates
Business, Management & Marketing 121 70051
Education 97 71064
Psychology 90 12101
Computer Science & Information Systems 89 11414
Accounting & Finance 83 17373

Rise Of International Students 

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There is no doubt that universities in the UK are highly popular among international students as a study destination, and this was observed more at the postgraduate level, rather than the undergraduate level. It was found that more than 140,000 students, domiciled outside the United Kingdom, were pursuing postgraduate courses in UK colleges and universities during 2012-13. This figure was over 33 per cent of all postgraduate learners.Rise Of International Students

The study patterns of these learners were pretty different from British students. Where most UK postgraduate students are usually working and studying part-time, with only 33 per cent studying full-time, students from abroad who have travelled to the United Kingdom normally go for full-time courses, with almost 85 per cent students. Hence, most of the full-time postgraduate students were international students in 2012-2013.

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and views with us y commenting below.

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Online education is now considered as one of the best ways of learning as it offers affordable and effective learning solutions to students around the world, who are unable to access traditional classroom education for whatever reasons. Numerous teachers and employers are now supporting digital learning for all the benefits it offers to students. But can online education help Nigerian students to avoid various challenges and access education easily? Let’s have a look…..

An Insecure Education System

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Students in the northeast region of Nigeria now face a number of difficulties and threats like random kidnappings, bombings and militant attacks, which started growing since 2009. So what should the parents of students in such regions do? What actions will you take if you heard that insurgents are about to attack your local schools? No matter how horrifying it sounds, many parents north-eastern Nigerian cities like Bauchi and Damaturu are actually coping with such decisions. They are now having second thoughts about whether they should send their kids to school or not. However, I guess now parents can make the decision more easily as more than 800 schools across the region have already been closed down due to lack of security.

According to an independent assessment by the CCSG (Coalition of Civil Society Groups), more than 194,664 learners are compelled to leave their schools as a result of growing insecurity. Etuk Bassey Williams, President of CCSG, believes that closing schools in Nigeria will adversely affect the probabilities of accomplishing the benchmarks for enrolments in primary schools in 2015, with below 80 per cent enrolment of children. Many education experts believe that implementing online study tools and facilities in the school curriculum can help teach home-bound learners, particularly disturbed northeast areas of Nigeria.

Can Online Learning Be Effective In Nigeria?

Dr. Dipo Fashina, ex-president of ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities), believes that the education system in Nigeria is flawed and strongly need to be restructured. Dr. Fashina commented “Education is the major thing that promotes being at the height of development and we are not there yet.”

The truth is enrolment in online study courses has already increased significantly with growing numbers of Nigerian students keen on studying online and earning accredited degrees. This is mainly due to the corrupted and defective education system in the country that creates under-prepared graduates who are unable to find any employment. On the other hand, numerous Nigerian learners, who wish to pursue quality education and degrees from recognised universities abroad without facing any threats or difficulties, believe that online programmes offer them the best learning opportunities.

Moreover, online study courses offered in Nigeria are highly affordable as these can incorporate innumerable students by utilising the same resources, same faculty and instructors and same school buildings. In fact now you can find various African-inspired online programmes that have been specifically developed for students in African nations. Developed by entrepreneur Gossy Ukanwoke, Beni American University is considered to be the first online university in Nigeria. Moreover MTN mAcademy is also a reputed and renowned online learning app that offers online courses on various subjects for free or minimal fees to students in different African countries.

Online Education – A Better Alternative 

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The fact is the possibility of online education to offer feasible learning solutions to learners in troubled regions will improve further with booming telecommunications sector and increasing internet broadband connectivity across Nigeria.

Do you think online learning is the best alternative of Nigerian students? Share your thoughts and opinions with me by commenting in the box below.

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While many 23 years olds across the world are still at university, Gossy Ukanwoke had by that age started one. In late 2012, Gossy Ukanwoke founded Beni American University (BAU), which is the first private online university of Nigeria. With the help of internet-enabled devices, students enrolled in this college can access their classes at any time of the day.

Ukanwoke, who is 25 now, says, “We are providing executive programs for graduates who are looking for employment and want to build up their resumes, or managers who want to climb up the hierarchy of their companies. We also have courses targeted at people who want to start their own business.”

Mark Zuckerberg of Nigeria

Before BAU, Ukanwoke had launched an online venture called Students Circle. He had launched this educational social networking site while in university. The Students Circle is meant to help learners interact with fellow learners and make use of free resources from top-tier schools.

Ukanwoke explains, “When I created Students Circle in 2010, I found out that … many were looking for certificates, hoping that they could get something they could use to maybe find employment or get a promotion in the workplace. There was a need for a new institution to be created in Nigeria,” Forbes once described him as “Mark Zuckerberg of Nigeria.”

At present, BAU has 10 instructors and about 200 students with 26 years as an average age.

This start-up has faced some roadblocks into its journey so far. As Nigerian laws ask universities to must have a physical campus, Ukanwoke bought the land in Benue State last year with an aim to construct a private campus with capacity to accommodate over 10,000 students.

The project is likely to commence next year but, meanwhile, the BAU continues to offer web courses at the cost of $100 to $300 for 12 week online programme. BAU offers a range of courses, including corporate diplomacy, leadership and management, project management, global marketing, digital journalism and entrepreneurship and innovation.

Chinenye Madukwe, a BAU student, says, “It’s good because I have four kids. I have opportunity to work at the same time, because I have a small interior design outfit.” On the other hand, Oo Nwoye says that he enrolled in the college for gaining knowledge. “It is just helpful for my business and that is the most important thing to me,” he says.

Education is the key to success

Ukanwoke is passionate about use of technology to find out the solutions of social problems. He says, “I grew up within the framework where education was put at a very high level of importance, and entrepreneurship is something that I always wanted to do,”

He further says, “Without education I don’t think we can do any progress. It’s not just about getting a certificate — education is about teaching people how to make a living and teaching people how to live; how to interact with others, how to lead their lives and make something out of themselves,”

Ukanwoke continues, “With education comes discipline and we need a lot of discipline in Nigeria as well, so education is really important.”

He depends a lot on social media for advertisement but says that student referrals are the main reason for increase in enrolment in BAU.

Ukanwoke has a long way to go, a lot of work to do, a lot of policy bickering too, but the work is in progress and he will surely and certainly achieve his desired goals. The future of education in Nigeria is bright and people like Ukanwoke have raised the awareness in the country.

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African continent is somewhat lacking its necessary developments in education. In Uganda, the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, recently commented upon some of the issues to educational advancement. But his views are quite insufficient to tackle the issues regarding unequal education and less competent graduates.

As per his announcement, the Government is planning to set up seed schools, and distribute computers in rural secondary schools. But, the shortcoming of his plan lies in the absence of sufficient initiatives to link such distribution programme to the skill developments among those students.

Superficial Measures Needs Attentive Reconsideration

The problem factor cannot be overcome by such distribution of computers, or minor increase in teacher’s salaries. Rather, actual understanding of root issues that plays behind the substandard education in Uganda need to address. Prime Minister should realise the demands of current economy, and plan all round reformation in the country’s education system which is grossly disconnected towards what the time’s expectations are.

There are systematic as well as multi-dimensional problems which need immediate attention. For example, the working conditions for teachers, including their pay scales need to be improved. Investments have to be made with a good amount from the government. The countries that have made remarkable developments in education like the UK, the US etc should be intensively followed in this respect.

Selection of Teaching Faculty Requires Modification

Standard of education depends at large on teaching faculty. But, mainly two types of candidates pursue this career – those who are really passionate about this profession, or those who do not have any other option than this.  To meet the expected developments, modification in teacher selection process would be the most vital step. And, also it should be made sure that they can work in a better and more amicable condition, which includes much higher salaries that currently they get.

Curriculums should Fuel Creativity

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Then, a substantial reformation needs to be done in learning environments. Curriculum must have to be designed in accordance with 21st century needs. Instead of a flat curriculum for any course, improvements have to be implemented in critical thinking skills, problem solving and analysis, communication skills, and, last but not the least, self-initiative.  Improvement on these areas can bring about successful innovation, creativity and workforce productivity.

Curriculum must ignite learners’ imagination, their thirst for creativity and analysing the world with a broader perspective. To this end, classroom size must be small so that teachers can instructors can invest more personal attention to their students.

Career Prospects Need Focus

Above all, curriculum should be designed in such a way that might help students develop real-life skills, with which they can enhance their career possibilities. So, parallel to theoretical lesson they need to be introduced to various project-based learning, which will give them fair idea about different industries and skills they need to acquire to shine in any respective career.

In many developed countries, ways of teaching and learning have been freed from the physical boundaries of classrooms. With the employment of online technologies, education there has given enough flexibility and mobility to engage their huge potentiality into industrial involvements alongside their studies.

If Uganda really wants to see a better tomorrow through its educational developments, the government must have to take such substantial steps that can actually meet the standard of the world and expectations of the time. Honest effort to this end can surely make the country achieve this goal.

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Although experts and a lot of educators are calling this present age the era of digital technology, many students are still unaware of the prime resources that can make them learn beyond classrooms. Well, learning through social media has achieved utmost importance in the recent years, and the new age learners have started applying this concept to achieve success and recognition in their careers.

Students and working professionals who aim to venture into social learning are required to keep three key elements in mind:

  1. A community full of life and vivacity
  2. A platform enriched in technology
  3. Content that ensures quality

Importance of a vibrant community

It’s not surprising that people out of curiosity keep visiting social platforms on a regular basis. However, the majority of them would never return if they find these platforms devoid of relevant information. So, what it means that these social platforms must have something that would keep them engaged for a good long time. So, your social community must be absolutely vibrant and then only you will be surrounded with experts and scholars who would be responding to your queries and suggestions.

Why need a technologically enriched platform?

A platform enriched in technology is essential since it will be perceived as a place for arresting the interaction initiated by the organisation. Moreover, you might have to access it almost daily at work to add interesting content for your viewers who would thereafter be compelled to return.

Content should be good enough to allure visitors      

If you want to learn by taking help of social media, you must start organising your platform with quality content. To be precise, the content should have business value and must sound interesting to the audience. On doing so, your visitors will be pleased to access technically enriched or business-based content and might therefore offer you similar stuff in return. Most importantly, quality content helps your social platforms gain recognition amongst millions.

How social media can be helpful for blended learners?

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The most amazing aspects about social media are:

  • Social media enhances employee participation in one’s learning process.
  • It becomes easier for learners to stay engaged towards their respective courses because they can reach out their peers and hence get their queries solved in no time.
  • Organisational learning programmes can also be enhanced to a good extent with social media by supporting the concept of transferring knowledge and making behavioural changes
  • Social media plays a key role in identifying the internal experts that consequently enhances the productivity of an organisation

Probably, this is a big reason why students, educators, working professionals and even business executives today depend on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter that give them the opportunity to strengthen their networks on a global basis. Therefore, social media in other words can be called a necessity, especially for those who are about to commence their careers or pursue higher studies for career development. The experts also believe that the impact of relying on social media in online study is surely going to strengthen with time.

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As technology is evolving with time, it is becoming friendlier and life saviour for people around the globe. Most importantly, the people residing in Africa and nearby places are the ones who are getting mostly aided. Africa, very surprisingly, has become the topmost country in adopting online education.

The expected growth of online education in the continent in almost 15.2% and Senegal is the highest among them with 30.4% growth in e-learning. This kind of rapid acceptance of online learning in Africa surely proves one thing that the future of education is quite bright there. Along with the improvement in the field of education, there will be reduction in poverty, health stature will be improved and also there will be emancipation of women.

MOOCs in Africa

The first ever MOOC in Africa has been developed by the African Management Initiative (AMI). It is primarily aimed at providing different courses to the learners to polish their basic skills in management. The name of the MOOC is Launchpad and it is in partnership with the South African Gordon Institute of Business Science. Now, the AMI will try to acquire more funds in order to design courses in partnership with the Strathmore Business School on Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos Business School in Nigeria.

Rebecca Harrison, the developer of MOOCs at AMI, says, “We want to make it as engaging as possible, but also low bandwidth.” According to a report by the eLearning Africa conference in the month of May’2013 has found out that the rise in MOOCs will be one of the most amazing changes in the online education scenario in Africa.

Online degree providers!

Apart from Africa’s own MOOC, there are a number of other international distance degree providers which can work as wonder for the aspiring learners in Africa. They have degree courses from the most reputed universities worldwide and therefore, the learners in Africa will get much more exposure in an international basis.

E-learning is a gateway to healthier lifestyle in Africa!

Higher education is something which is necessary for everyone not only in order to further in their career goals but also for their sound mental and physical health. It is seen that the ones with a higher education degree leads a very balanced and healthy lifestyle. In fact, studies in 2012 have shown that people with just a high school diploma smokes 17% more than the ones with a Master’s degree. Higher education makes one think on a broader perspective and this way the person becomes perfect to dwell in the society.

It is true that Africa suffered a lot, both financially as well as the education scenario wasn’t good at all. There were no better resources in the schools and colleges and the learners had to worry much about getting a degree and most of the times they had to leave hopes of acquiring a degree for them. Online learning then became their saviour and offered them with courses and degrees which they have wanted forever.

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Nigeria has been striving to rise with its planned educational development for years, but for multiple reasons like lack of proper infrastructure, militancy impacts, funding deficiencies and many more issues alike, the country could not make it successful till now. But, things are changing for better, and new measures are hoped to bring a hopeful era of all round growth with substantial developments in Nigerian education.

It is no new concept that educational developments bring forth economic growth. The most developed countries are the ones that have taken special care of educating its mass populace. In this respect Nigeria is lagging pretty behind with its current illiteracy level of 61%. But, to make considerable growth in its manpower and services such as healthcare, communication and community welfare, educational achievements plays crucial role.

Governmental Failures in Nigeria’s Education Sector

But, as for the governmental initiatives to bring good changes in educational prosperity there is nothing so encouraging, apart from the institution of National Open University, NOUN, in the year 2000. The outcome with this initiative has been quite prominent over the time since its introduction. The result was optimistic because, open learning curriculum it is not like traditional system where teaching staffs develop courses on their own, and choose the way they like to teach and assess. Student progress in the open learning environment involves multi-disciplinary experts to design courses, so that the student can meet exemplary success with innovative approaches in learning.

New Fields of Study

 As the most effective solution to an environment where funding scarcity from governmental end leads to the lack of basic educational facilities to the majority of Nigerians, open education has come up with potential benefits. With open university courses newer trends are becoming popular which show great newer possibilities of career developments. Through open online courses studies like management, IT, entertainment, various social enterprises, news reading, furniture designing, reporting for electronic media, fashion designing, content writing, event management, and many other career-oriented courses have become easy to pursue through studying online.

In 2014, distance education will have a considerable growth, as predicted. Number of universities and polytechnic colleges are forecast to increase to propagate open online education in this year.  With admission criteria and cost for regular tertiary institution continues to grow highly competitive online education is showing promising glimpses to provide easy and alternative ways of education.

International Education becomes Easy

Nigerian students who aspire for completing their higher education abroad can be benefited greatly with this emerging trend of online education. Especially, those who are classified as “middle middle class” are to take immense advantages with these open courses offered by not only their national universities, but also by many top-grade international universities as well. In another mentionable measure, private sector investment in both primary and secondary levels will grow. This is because UBE has continuously failed to meet the level of quality demanded by the parents. And, this sort of investments is supposed to focus on the actually effective educational spheres like distance education, online learning and other prospective fields of alternative education.

With the measures to bring about substantial developments in education Nigeria’s overall developments are on the ascension. If these unexplored avenues can be exploited up to their fullest potentialities, Nigerian socio-political developments as well as economic growth are something on the cards.