Gaborone — Today's rapidly changing world demands new modes of learning such as Open and Distance Learning (ODL), the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Alfred Madigele has said.
Officiating at the 13th BOCODOL graduation ceremony themed Flexible Lifelong Learning: Empowering the Nation, Dr Madigele said Open and Distance Learning provided widest opportunities for continuous access to knowledge throughout the course of life.
Dr Madigele pointed out that such mode of learning had offered the graduates the opportunity to learn despite all other commitments such as the family and professional work.
The minister mentioned that the extensive use of information communication technology had made the capacity of ODL mode of learning possible.
He said with ODL and technology developments, distance and geographic location, age, financial limitations and other personal circumstances of would-be learners was no longer a barrier in accessing learning opportunities.
The ODL, Dr Madigele said, had provided graduates with unique learning experiences that would open more opportunities into the world of work and business industries as well as private lives.
He said as the ministry's commitment in addressing all forms of exclusion and marginalisation, disparities and inequalities in access, participation and learning outcomes was their priority.
The minister pointed out that Parliament in an endeavour to expand education passed a Bill that declared BOCODOL an open university.
He added that the decision was a bold step that indicated commitment in promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, in all levels of education.
Government, he said, was committed to training the nation's work force through sustainable, efficient and cost effective opportunities that the Botswana Open University presents.
"I am pleased to say that the commencement date for Botswana Open University has been agreed upon and it shall be December 1, 2017", he said.
Dr Madigele noted that such efforts were evident because government had realised that education was inherently holding promise for expanding access and inclusion of disadvantaged members of the society in the education and development process.
He said it was clear that stakeholders in education and development had recognised that ODL might be one of the most important ways of meeting growth and participation objectives of governments worldwide.
For his part, acting vice chancellor of Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), Professor Alfred Ncube said due to worldwide significance of lifelong learning, the necessity of constant development of one's self and non-stop advancement of technology, distance education had become the most popular means to education.
The ZOU-BOCODOL partnership fully supports cooperative learning, which enables graduates to develop themselves, the community and the country, he added.
Partnerships' continued effort in keeping up to date with advancements in technology aimed at ensuring that graduates remain relevant to both industry and commerce, he said. BOPA
Source : BOPA