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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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Are universities in Nigeria preparing students with substantial skills for getting hired by employers? The answer can be quite negative, yet that is only the stark reality. As former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Olufemi Bamiro points out, “Universities need to equip their students with the necessary competencies. Universities while trying to give quality education to the students and making sure that they have employability attributes, must be aware of the external factor and labour market regulations, democracy and structure of the economy and considering the overall economy situation of the country. Good academic qualifications are no longer enough for employability. Graduates need to also have other attributes which they call soft skills. Graduates can no longer expect to be employed in just one sector through their professional life. They will need to be impacted with skills that will make them to adapt to different situation. Some graduates do not know how to write application letters even some use internet English and short hand is not good.”

How to Deal with It?

This is indeed a problem that many developing nations like Nigeria face. Conventional university education is grossly focused on bringing excellence in academic knowledge. Employment-centric curriculum is something that is prominently absent in Nigerian education.

Now, how would Nigerian youth deal with this? A very simple question having a complex answer, Nigeria must have to make extensive use of open educational resources that allow learners getting real-life working experience parallel to their academic knowledge.

Skill-Developing Learning

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One of the most prominent benefits with globalisation is number of international universities and affiliated course providers flocking around many underdeveloped nations like Nigeria to offer online courses. Nigerian youth must take the advantages of such way of learning where flexibility of online courses allow them to enjoy anytime-anywhere studying with simple gadgets like tablets or laptops, with an internet connection. The real advantage with this flexibility of online learning what students can easily turn in favour of them is the opportunity for real-industry involvement parallel to their theoretical knowledge accumulation.

Involvement in Industry whilst Studying

So, with online university courses Nigerian youth can augment their academic proficiencies alongside their involvements in relevant industries to get practical skill-based efficiencies. Thus, they can achieve a combination of knowledge that helps them develop both theoretical concepts on any subject and applied aspects of those theories.

This is what can only save Nigerian youth from the engulfing doom of unemployment. Employers today prefer those candidates who have prior industrial exposure, and this can only be achieved through the flexible, easy-affordable online learning model. To deal with unemployment problem among Nigerian youth Government there should also encourage people for taking benefits of online education and make their job prospect really lucrative.

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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.

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Source: bit.ly/19o6ZID

The latest and most fantastic way of education has already become identical with the methodology employed by online education. People had a little doubt over this unconventional mode of education, which with the involvement of world’s greatest universities in structuring online courses has been vanished.

Yet, to ascertain the maximum outcome out of any online learning programme there are certain factors that must take into account. An online course must reflect clear idea about what students can expect from it and what career opportunity can it promise. Similarly, students should be clear in their approach what they expect from their online learning programme.

In any online learning programme various types of support students get stand as one of the attractive factors. Those who are planning for taking up online education as their preferred mode of study should take prior view of such support allotment by visiting the website of any programme. Generally, the student support is indicated by the tag “Guide to Study” or something like that. If this type of place is missing in their website the indication is they are careless or not so concerned about student support. Students need not have to be told what they should do with this sort of course provider!

Management of Studying

Some think that online learning is much easier to go with, which is not exactly the actual thing. Online learning requires exactly the same level of dedication as in any in-person course. The benefit with online course only lies in its convenient design which students find easy to cope with. So, when someone is considering for an online course he/she must make a thorough planning of studying. In online learning proper time management for study is very important. Students must not take the liberty of time so casually as to neglect their regular study habit.

Decide right course

The comparatively easier and flexible eligibility criteria might deliver wrong message to a candidate in deciding his/her course. He may not succeed to secure his admission in an on-campus institute for a particular subject, and find easier to get admission into any online programme. But, what is important is to think thoroughly whether he would be able to carry out the course curriculum or not.  Indiscreet decision can lead the student in a measurable condition.

Quality instructors

Instructor play significant roles to make any course qualitatively successful, so through research regarding instructors associated with any online programme should be surveyed responsibly. One can always take thorough look at the instructors’ web profile to get fair idea about their reputation. Communicating with senior students to know their experience about such instructors is another good way to gather knowledge.

Alumni Feedback

 Paying considerable attention to what alumni comments on any course, what prospects they have found is incredibly profitable to decide for any course.

Online learning is really an advantageous medium to get education with an easy design that students find easy to cope with. Only with some discreet decisions one can make his online study truly successful.

The latest and most fantastic way of education has already become identical with the methodology employed by online education. People had a little doubt over this unconventional mode of education, which with the involvement of world’s greatest universities in structuring online courses has been vanished.

Yet, to ascertain the maximum outcome out of any online learning programme there are certain factors that must take into account. An online course must reflect clear idea about what students can expect from it and what career opportunity can it promise. Similarly, students should be clear in their approach what they expect from their online learning programme.

In any online learning programme various types of support students get stand as one of the attractive factors. Those who are planning for taking up online education as their preferred mode of study should take prior view of such support allotment by visiting the website of any programme. Generally, the student support is indicated by the tag “Guide to Study” or something like that. If this type of place is missing in their website the indication is they are careless or not so concerned about student support. Students need not have to be told what they should do with this sort of course provider!

Management of Studying

Some think that online learning is much easier to go with, which is not exactly the actual thing. Online learning requires exactly the same level of dedication as in any in-person course. The benefit with online course only lies in its convenient design which students find easy to cope with. So, when someone is considering for an online course he/she must make a thorough planning of studying. In online learning proper time management for study is very important. Students must not take the liberty of time so casually as to neglect their regular study habit.

Decide right course

The comparatively easier and flexible eligibility criteria might deliver wrong message to a candidate in deciding his/her course. He may not succeed to secure his admission in an on-campus institute for a particular subject, and find easier to get admission into any online programme. But, what is important is to think thoroughly whether he would be able to carry out the course curriculum or not.  Indiscreet decision can lead the student in a measurable condition.

Quality instructors

Instructor play significant roles to make any course qualitatively successful, so through research regarding instructors associated with any online programme should be surveyed responsibly. One can always take thorough look at the instructors’ web profile to get fair idea about their reputation. Communicating with senior students to know their experience about such instructors is another good way to gather knowledge.

Alumni Feedback

Paying considerable attention to what alumni comments on any course, what prospects they have found is incredibly profitable to decide for any course.

Online learning is really an advantageous medium to get education with an easy design that students find easy to cope with. Only with some discreet decisions one can make his online study truly successful.

 

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bit.ly/16rXXIK

Students are still apprehensive about completing their college degrees online as many still think that ‘valid’ education can only provided by traditional, brick and mortar colleges. This perception is a complete misconception as online colleges these days are as good as traditional colleges, if not better. However, there are many students that complete their degrees from these colleges and land good jobs. Here are a few stats that clearly indicate that online education is slowly being accepted in today’s competitive job market.

 

“According to a report prepared by the Babson Survey Research Group, there were over 6.7 million post secondary students who enrolled online in several courses in 2011. In contrast, there were only 1.6 million students who enrolled online for higher studies in the year 2002. So, don’t you think that the addition of 5 million students in 9 years is a huge achievement in the world of online education? Moreover, there were 72% of online schools in 2002, whereas the number has steadily increased to 87% in 2012.”

(Source: goo.gl/h01kXw)

Students in countries like Nigeria are slowly switching to the online mode of education as the colleges in their country are not up to the mark and can’t compete with colleges of first world countries. There are many UK universities in Nigeria that provide quality education and help students and working professionals do well in life. Online degrees are more affordable than traditional college degrees. Therefore, students can study the courses taught in elite educational institutions without having to pay extra money for conveyance, food or lodging. There are many universities, across the world, which provide various kinds of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

With these online degrees you can get highly respectable and well paying jobs all around the world. However, you must make sure that the colleges are accredited ad recognised; otherwise, the degrees will hold no value and your money will be wasted.

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With the fast growing technology higher education is on a rise and it is made more effective and efficient. Online learning is spreading its wings all across the world and it is considered as an excellent medium to globalize. Internet has changed the way education was perceived and with the new communication technology people can pursue education anywhere across the globe. It has made education affordable and accessible to all. Now, everybody can fulfill his/ her dream of getting higher education.

Advantage of Internet

With the easily accessible internet the knowledge has become more democratized.  The cheaper medium of communication has spread the use of internet. Technology has become easier to use and available at the tip of finger. Different undergraduate and postgraduate courses are designed for the students.

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The access of online libraries and e-books has become handy. As the cost of information goes down, the access of information goes up. The electronic medium of education is familiar to all. Students from developing countries can also pursue higher education and improve their career prospects.

Advantage of Online Education over Traditional Education

Distance Learning is at par with traditional learning. Internet has changed the old traditional medium of education which was restricted to four walls of classroom. Now with the wide spread use of internet college dropouts or students who had to give up their studies due to various reasons, can complete their unfinished education.

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The education system is not very developed in developing countries so the students have to start working just after finishing their school or college education or move out of country. But internet brings the education to their doorstep and they can pursue any degree from an international university sitting at their home and continuing with their job and responsibilities.

Benefits of Online Education

Online education gives you the flexibility of anytime, anywhere education. It gives you the advantage of having an international degree from a recognized university anywhere around the world. You may plan your study according to your work schedule.

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This also gives you the advantage of continue working while pursuing the course and enhance the chance of getting promotion and hike. Distance Learning is at par with traditional learning in the way it has helped working professionals to fulfill their dream of getting a higher degree as well as to those who had to give up their studies. Housewives can also complete their unfinished education and become financially independent.

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With the growing demand and popularity of online education, it has become possible for many students to fulfill their dream of getting higher education. It is no more considered a substitute to main stream education rather it walks side to side. The online learning programme acts as a gift for those who cannot afford education due to the lack of facilities available or have to leave education mid-way for various reasons.

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Education in Nigeria

Many developing countries across the globe including African nations lag behind in many educational facilities. They are unable to establish well built educational infrastructure and standards for aspiring students. Thus students are left with no other option but to move out after completing their school education. Due to the weak economy the country is poor and students do not have money to bear the expense of higher education. So they start working just after completing their school degree to support their family but in absence of a good degree they are given low profile jobs and are less paid.

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Advantage of Online Learning

How distance learning in Nigeria is beneficial for local students can be summarized as follows:

  • With the help of online educational programs many undergraduate and post graduate courses are offered to the students from developing countries so that they can pursue higher education by staying in their own country and continuing their work.
  • These courses are cheaper in compare to regular courses so that students can afford it.
  • Online courses are flexible so that students can study anytime during the day and complete the course according to their schedule.
  • As there is no burden of attending regular classes, students can continue with their work and responsibilities while pursuing the course.
  • A higher degree along with the work experience gives them the advantage of getting better job prospects.

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Development in Online Educational Programmes

With the help from World Bank the Nigeria government has decided to invest in the enhancement of online education to improve education opportunities for young aspirants. This will also improve the quality of education in the country. Understanding how distance learning in Nigeria is beneficial for local students, several universities in Nigeria are adopting online education.

The government is taking every possible step to improve the educational quality in Nigeria. The enrollment for higher education is on rise among students. After completing the course students will work towards the empowerment of economy. This will help in creating many job opportunities.