Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja.
The Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, (NUC), Prof Abubakar Rasheed, has said its Open Educational Resources, (OER), if fully committed will enhance the quality and quantity of academic content available to learners at little or no cost.
Rasheed also revealed that the commission Open Educational Resources, (OER), repository established in 2017, currently has over two million OERs in the form of courseware, lecture notes, textbooks, videos, maps, podcast, conference presentations, and journal.
The NUC boss stated this in Abuja at a two-day high-level Sensitization Workshop on mainstreaming OER in higher education in Nigeria, organized by the commission in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning, COL.
While speaking through his representative, Deputy Executive Secretary, NUC, Chris Maiyaki, Rasheed said the facility which is maintained by NUC is currently held by 153 Nigerian universities.
He said the commission established the repository and named it the Nigerian University System Open Educational Resources, (NUSOER), in its bid to fully encourage the institutionalisation of the use of OER.
Rasheed noted that, NUC, in its effort to galvanize the universities and assess their full commitment to the OER movement, will continue to evaluate and rank Nigerian Higher Education Institutions, (HEIs), as part of efforts to give them visibility and place them on the world OER map.
He said the workshop was conceived and carefully designed to bring to the fore, the benefits of OER in Higher Education.
He said: “The use of OER will no doubt enhance the quality and quantity of academic content available to learners at little or no cost, adding that it will also motivate the students to become content creators themselves.
In his remarks, the Head of the Commonwealth of Learning, COL, Dr Venkataraman Balaji, said the COL is a member-country driven organization, an intergovernmental organization and Nigeria has been a member of the organization from inception.
“This relationship has been working both ways; and COL’s contribution to Nigeria consist of advocacy for open learning, advocacy for distance learning and advocacy for online learning; beside that we have been working with NUC in particular to promote policies that benefit open learning, offer more open educational resources; they offer improved faculty capacity to work with technology in learning,” Balaji said.
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Prof Olufemi Peters, said “OERs have facilitated the access of faculty and students to improved quality teaching and learning resources, and at reduced costs.”
“The wake, disruption and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic into our world has made OERs, become even more critical to providing massive and ready-made digital learning resources, a necessary tool to deepening content and delivery of knowledge and skills,” he said.