The University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (DLC) has been registering indelible footprints on the sands of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) education in Nigeria. The acceptability of ODL as a mode of education had over time been a factor that inhibited the progress of DLC in a dual mode institution like the University of Ibadan. But judging by the recent goodwill enjoyed from stakeholders within and outside the University, there is no gainsaying that Unibadan DLC has come of age.
A recent reality of this assertion is premised on the success recorded at the 2016/2017 Matriculation and Orientation exercise of the Centre. It was the first to be held under the Prof. Amos Oyesoji Aremu led administration. Though necessitated by the exigencies of the suspension of academic activities of undergraduate regular students, holding the event in the Centre's Computer-Based Testing Centre was a laudable feat. The Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole (PIFA) hall hosted the creme of the university who graced the event.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Abel Idowu Olayinka in his speech emphasized the importance for matriculants to know that they were not DLC students but students of the University of Ibadan. He reiterated and celebrated parity of esteem as a philosophy that guided the university's perception of DLC. He expressed confidence in the Oyesoji Aremu led administration to take the Centre to great heights.
The Vice Chancellor's affirmed that DLC had become an enviable model for other NUC accredited ODL institutions in Nigeria. He gladly reckoned with the fact that First Class students produced on the DLC mode were products of U.I. hence a collective pride. According to him, this affirms the fact that the ODL platform was a veritable access option for applicants who desired to pursue their dreams of being graduates of University of Ibadan.
The Registrar of the University, Mr. Olujimi Okukoya administered the matriculation oath on the 2,168 matriculants admitted through Ordinary Level and Direct Entry into the six advertised programmes. The matriculants excitedly partook in the oath.
The matriculation Lecture, entitled: 'Exploring Open, Distance and e-Learning Opportunities in Nigerian Universities', was delivered by Professor Michael Adeyeye of Department of Local Government Studies, Faculty of Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Prof. Adeyeye is the immediate past Director of Centre for Distance Learning of the same university.
It is a tradition in the University of Ibadan for every Matriculation Ceremony to be trailed by orientation exercises. On Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday June 8, 2017, the 2016/2017 Orientation exercise was held in the PIFA hall of the DLC CBT Centre.
The first day of the orientation was opened with a beautifully rendered speech by the Director. He spiced up the session with pro University of Ibadan songs and chants which ignited the atmosphere. It also featured lectures and presentations. These assignments were undertook by the Registrar, Director of University Health Services (JAJA Clinic), Examinations Officer of the university, Dean of Student Affairs and Director, Centre for Social Orientation (CENSO)
Presentations on the second day featured in-house personnel who took turns to acquaint fresh students with the DLC processes and procedures. Dr E.M. Ajala of Department of Social Work also did a presentation titled, 'Emerging Opportunities for ODL students'. Question and answer sessions were also featured after the series of presentations of each day.
The high point of the second day was the testimonials of First Class graduates on the Unibadan DLC platform. Six of them where invited to encourage the fresh learners. They shared their priced principles and philosophies of success amidst standing ovations. It was quite interesting to know that three of them where married with four to five children.
Consequently, it is necessary to note that the fresh learners displayed a high level of decorum and discipline. There is no gain saying that it is indeed the dawning of a new era in DLC.
Communications Officer, Distance Learning Centre