The Curriculum Research Evaluation and Development Directorate (CREDD) under the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) with support from Commonwealth of Learning (COL) recently concluded a five-day workshop to develop a robust policy frame work on Open Distance Learning (ODL). Held at the CREDD Hall in Kanifing, the event brought together seasoned educationists to judiciously develop a principal document that would enhance an enlightened ODL policy, premised on providing access to education for all Gambians.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Deputy Permanent Secretary (DPS) Programs, Mr Adama Jimba Jobe cited that the open distance learning program was meant to provide accessible and quality education to every Gambian, including both the formal and non-formal sector, leaving no one behind. The ministry has place high premium on open distance learning in reaching out to people to provide education for all, yearning for a meaningful and prosperous society through education..
The Director of Curriculum, Mr. Momodou Jeng underscored the importance of the program in helping out-of school students with low passes in GABECE and WASSCE exams to have the opportunity to attend remedial classes through seasoned tutors thereby reintegrating into the education system. Mr Jeng highlighted the growing significance of ODL in an increasingly digital world cannot be overemphasized. He further said that some of the candidates who started the second chance program are enrolled in college and University and some are serving as facilitators in some the centers to teach the children.
Dr. Herodt Murungi, a Namibian Consultant and Chief Executive Officer for Namibia College of Open Learning (NAMCOL), intimated that the event was meant to reflect on the guiding principle for the national ODL policy as well as the issues that needs to be addressed and how to address them in the policy framework.
“I am very passionate about open schooling and most of time we put much emphasis on higher education but higher education must be fed by Basic education. We never have students dropping out of school from higher education but all students dropping out of school are from basic education. So if this issue is not addressed, we will never have students at higher education level,” Dr. Murungi said.