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ACETEL: NOUN partners EFCC to fight “Yahoo Yahoo” boys

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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says it will collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a successful takeoff of the African Centre on Technology, Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) – a unit of the institution.

The Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Professor Abdalla Adamu, who said this in Abuja on Monday at the inauguration of the ACETEL School, noted that when fully operational the centre among other digital learning would focus on courses that can combat internet fraud.

Adamu said that the World Bank had earmarked 8 million dollars for the running of the centre which is the first of its kind in West Africa where Doctor of Philosophy and Master’s Degree on courses related to ICT would be obtained.

“We have programmes associated with degree and we have programmes for those doing Masters and Phd in Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Management Information System (MIS).

“But courses on internet fraud are targeted for just few months that people can read quickly and understand the basics of modern world technology and EFCC will be a facilitator on this.

“We have people called `Yahoo Yahoo’ boys that are internet scammers who scam people and get a lot of money from them and do all sorts of things with it and it is critical to include EFCC as partners to develop a short course on ethical use of internet.

“Having EFCC as a partner to the process will be a very good message to those who are using technology for other purposes,” Adamu said.

Magu, represented by Dr Aminu Gusau, Director, Organisational Support, EFCC, identified NOUN and its ACETEL School as a critical stakeholder in the fight against crime in Nigeria.

“Institutions of learning like this one is the best place to start engaging youths as partners in the fight against crime.

“Whether we like it or not, NOUN and the ACETEL are real stakeholders in this fight against corruption and we are trying to see the best ways we can collaborate,” Magu said

Prof. Grace Jokhtan, Director in charge of the ACETEL, explained that the project which is a World Bank ICT project in NOUN, said that results of the programme were expected in four years.

She said the activities of the centre would focus on development of digital tools and solutions, skills in software development and mobile-based applications.

“The centre will also focus on research on digital policies and its main streaming in the public sector as well as building capacity with a focus on development of 21st century skills to produce digital experts in the development of cyber security tools.

“ACETEL has a faculty comprising seasoned academics from around the world and leading practitioners in the industries,” she said.

Jokhtan added that they were looking to develop digital expertise to drive economic growth and transformation in the West African sub-region and beyond.

President, Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver, Canada, Professor Asha Kanwar, congratulated NOUN vice-chancellor for the inauguration of the ACETEL and said that they would continue to use technology to expand learning in Nigeria and other 52 member countries.

“Nigeria is a very active member of the Commonwealth and provides both financial and intellectual support, and we have enjoyed the cooperation of several institutions in Nigeria which NOUN is one of them.

“We share with NOUN the common goal of promoting quality education for all with the use of technology for education and we have seen NOUN grown from its early beginning to become one of the key mega universities in the Commonwealth.

“NOUN is the leader in Open and distance learning in the region and it is one of the regional centres of the Commonwealth and has played a major role in developing courses in advanced ICT skills.”

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

Education

COVID-19: Academic activities ongoing at NOUN — ACETEL

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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says academic activities are ongoing at the institution, in spite of the stay-at-home directives by the Federal Government following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The instititution said in a statement by Mr Ambrose Gowong, Communications Officer, Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) on Friday in Abuja.

It said that NOUN was the only institution in the country without dislocation of academic calendar following the outbreak of the global health crisis, COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACETEL is a centre at the NOUN, sponsored by the World Bank, with special interest on the development of human capacity and research in digital solutions that will lead to the utilisation of technology for education.

It quoted the Director of ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, as saying that NOUN, as Nigeria’s flagship Open and Distance Learning Institution (ODL) allowed learning at a distance, as it focuses on open access to education.

According to the statement, NOUN through ACETEL focuses on freeing learners from the constraints of time and place, especially online courses that concerns Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security and Management Information Systems.

”The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced learning is a world class centre assisted by the World Bank at the Headquarters of NOUN).

”The online learning environment provides opportunities for students to connect with lecturers, using video conferencing technology wherever they are.

“Also, discussion forums and chat activities are integrated in each course to facilitate effective interactions within the learning community.

”Tutor Marked Assessments (TMAs), registration and some administrative tasks are all being carried out online,” Jokthan said.

She said that aside maintaining its steady academic programme, ACETEL organised and executed a five day online virtual training workshop for its course writers on how to use ‘Adobe Captivate’ to convert course materials into e-learning format.

”The workshop attracted over 15 learned heads from across the globe, including a World Bank expert, Dr Dimitrios Noukakis, who need not to bother about travel ban or the scare of COVID-19.

”Noukakis also need not bother about any logistics coming to Nigeria for the training as the training took place in the comfort of the various participants’ homes.

”The World Bank expert commended the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, while urging other universities in Nigeria to tow the path of NOUN,”

(
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Peter Ejiofor) (NAN)

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NOUN begins free virtual training for 600 participants

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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has began virtual lectures and hands-on-laps training for 600 participants through its Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning, (ACETEL).

Mr Ambrose Gowong, Communications Officer, ACETEL, in a statement said the training was a  partnership between ACETEL­-CISCO Academy and the Directorate of Learning Content Management System (DLCMS) of NOUN.

He said  NOUN Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration, Prof. Justus Sokefun, who declared the training open, said the training was part of ACETEL mandate of running short digital courses designed to identify and bridge the digital need in skill-based courses in the society.

Sokefun declared the training open on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has now directed the minds of most people to the all encompassing use of technology which all the while was a primary tool at the NOUN.

“Now things are changing with this pandemic; accordingly we need to start developing things our own way. With this training, it is an eye opener that NOUN can do things our  own way.

“I am glad with the leadership the vice chancellor has given to the university. He has given us the latitude to explore and express ourselves in our own way,  hence about the synergy between ACETEL and CISCO”.

Also speaking, Prof. Grace Jokthan, Director, ACETEL, said the centre has been mandated to run academic programmes, skill-based courses and also a research centre.

“We have about 14 skilled-based courses that the centre intends  to run, but the ones we are commencing with today are; IT Essentials, Internet of things and Get started.

“Bulk data, cyber security, open data and so on are also short courses the centre intends to run in due cause.

“Since the ICT spectrum is dynamic, the centre will not be restricted to only these courses mentioned; we will continue to look out for harvest and run trending courses with specific focus on the needs of the environment and society at large.

“The goal of running all these (academic programmes, short courses and research centre) at ACETEL is to be able to produce a pool of digital experts and skill based graduates in software research and development.

“It also provides safe and secure digital environment for the conduct of virtual activities in the university and provides support to other institutions in West Africa to become world class resource centre for e-learning and virtual learning,” Jokthan said.

She added: “We are glad today to have commenced with the short courses training; hopefully by the middle of the year,  we will kick start academic activities in artificial intelligence, cyber security and management information systems at both Masters and Ph.D. levels.”

Representative of CISCO Networking Academy,  Mr Imoh Akpan, congratulated ACETEL and NOUN for bringing the partnership and training to fruition.

Akpan was quoted as adding that the academy was established to serve as a corporate social responsibility by CISCO,  haven seen that ICT was key in achieving digital economy and transformation.

“For the programme, they will be exposed to the length and breadth of technology with skills to job learning experience. This provides you with the foundation you need to survive in the technology space,” he said.

Akpan added that the idea behind the partnership was to collaborate with government, institutions and academy even employers of labour to explore and ensure opportunities for relevant skills for the job of the future.

He assured that CISCO certification would grant job seekers access to employers of labour which should be an added advantage to students.

Dr Adewale Adeshina, Director, Learning Content Management System, NOUN, was quoted as saying that the ACETELCISCO networking academy was a collaborative effort between ACETEL and CISCO.

“The thinking behind this partnership and training is to have digital literacy within the population, in and across the country and even beyond especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Digital literacy is one of the  components of being a digital citizen which grants you the ease of doing a lot in our today digitally driven environment; banking, e-learning, e-commerce and so on.

“So there is  need to know how to interact with people around the world hence the need to know how to use technology responsibly which forms the basis for citizens to be digitally literate.

“Digital technology helps family and friends to communicate effectively due to the high constraints of today’s world; it also helps in getting jobs and places an individual on an advantage position in today’s world.

“So the ACETELCISCO networking programme is a comprehensive e-learning programme that provides students with internet technology skills essential in today’s economy.

“It delivers web-based content, online assessment, students performance tracking, hands-on-laps, instructor training and support, preparation for industry and even standard certification”.

Prof. Samaila Mande, Dean Postgraduate schools, stated that the programme was supposed to be for between 30  to 50 people for a pilot scheme when we advertised for it but it had been oversubscribed.

“As it is now, this is a bumper harvest programme; this tells you the trust people now have in NOUN,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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NOUN to begin virtual training on digital literacy

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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is to offer free virtual training programme on some selected digital short courses from May 4, to enhance academic activities.

A statement issued by Mr Ambrose Gowong, Communications Officer, Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced learning (ACETEL), stated that the training programme would be anchored in conjunction with CISCO Academy  amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.

The statement quoted Prof. Grace Jokthan, Director, ACETEL as saying that the training was part of the skill-based training at NOUN.

Jokthan added: “ACETEL is expected to run academic programmes in Artificial Intelligence, Cyber security and Management Information systems all at post graduate levels.

“This short training on IT Essentials, Internet of things, and Get started by the University is part of ACETEL skill-based programmes aimed at identifying and reducing ICT skill-gap in the country thereby preparing the individuals for technology enhanced learning.

“In this regard, the University through the Centre will subsequently run other short courses to the public that are skill-based; these courses will include cloud computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence and so on.”

Speaking further on the programme, NOUN Director of Learning Content Management System, Dr Adewale Adeshina said the training would focus mainly on digital literacy.

Adeshina who also is the coordinator of short courses at ACETEL said that each of the courses would require about thirty to forty hours depending  on how fast participants can finish.

“Some can complete their courses in a week, two or three; for now, we are starting with three courses — IT Essentials which is basically about computer apprehension, Internet of things, which is a more trending computer science programme which anybody can take part.

“The third is Get Connected, which basically is on the principles of the internet; how can people get connected to the internet.”

Also speaking, Director, Academic Planning NOUN said the training would be a revolving one, as the university would continue to admit and train more people after three to six weeks to ensure they are busy at all times.

According to Tanglang, who is also the Coordinator Academic Programme of ACETEL, NOUN is already having an online facilitation for students, as the university has not stopped running its programmes even at this period of COVID-19.

“Let me also add that NOUN is ready and willing to partner with any university in this regard because the COVID-19 came as a surprise to many institutions that were not prepared.

“Unless these institutions key into online or e-learning as the surest way to beat any further disruption of academic activities like strike, COVID-19 and other unforseen situations.”

Dean Post Graduate Schools NOUN Prof. Samaila Mande said ACETEL as a world class Centre assisted by the World Bank was running the programme to keep the students abreast with what was expected of them.

“Globally, people were asked to stay at home and observe the WHO instructions with regards to the outbreak of COVID-19; this has the potential of affecting the mental psychic of our students.

“So as a means of keeping them abreast with what is expected of them, ACETEL is running these three short courses which is part of the centre’s mandate to get these students engaged and exposed to modern digital literacy.

“You’ll need also to understand that ACETEL is basically to work towards enhancing learning by the use of science and technology with a mandate covering West Africa. This is why the whole exercise is about working remotely.

“Since the mantra now is about working remotely, there is nothing anyone can do about it other than embracing technology enhanced learning which is what we do at the NOUN.”

Participants are encouraged to log on to the website https://www.aceteladmissions.nouedu2.net/short-courses-registration and complete the application form from where names would be harvested and migrated to a learning platform.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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NOUN Governing Council approves 15 new undergraduate, postgraduate courses

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The Governing Council of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has approved 15 new courses for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to give opportunities to Nigerians wishing to study in the institution.

Prof. Peter Okebukola, the Chairman, Governing Council, NOUN,  said this in Abuja on Thursday while briefing newsmen.

He noted that three of the courses, International Relations, French as well as Development Studies, were approved for undergraduate programmes.

Okebukola explained that 12 of the programmes including Master of Law, Master of International Law and Diplomacy (MILD), Public Health, Economics and Mass Communication were approved for postgraduate programmes.

Others courses approved for postgraduate programmes were Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Management Information System.

Okebukola said: “Council noted that University Senate has approved a whole range of new undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes in order to provide more opportunities to thousands of Nigerians who would not have been able to study these programmes due to their individual circumstance.”

According to him, six of the programmes that have to do with Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Management Information System will take place at the institution’s World Bank funded Africa Centre for Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL).

The NOUN Council Chairman also said that the institution was gradually achieving its target of one million enrolment going by its current enrolment of 550,000 students.

He commended the Managements of National Universities Commission (NUC) and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for their support and interventions in the university which led to the increase of students’ enrolment.

“Council is happy to report that Government of Belarus has requested the permission of NOUN to hold an education fair in December 2019 due to importance of NOUN as a national nerve centre for educational dissemination and quality assurance.

”Council also approved the recommendation of Senate for the appointment of Prof. Uduma Orji Uduma of the Department of Philosophy as the new Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

“We also noted the election of Congregation representatives to Council of Mrs Margaret Merari and Alhaji Isa Shehu for the period specified by law.

“It is gratifying to note the increasing number of enrolment of women in NOUN; second semester registration indicated 58 per cent of those taking examination in NOUN are female.

“This is commendable as it provides women with an opportunity for gaining world-class education at their place and their pace,” Okebukola added. (NAN)

EMAF/DCU

Edited by Donald Ugwu

 

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NOUN to benefit from NCC’s education grants

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NOUN to benefit from NCC’s education grants

Grants

Abuja, April 18, 2019 The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) says  the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will benefit from its education grants for tertiary institutions in the country.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday when a delegation from NOUN visited him in his office to explore ways of collaborating with the commission.

Mr Ephraim Nwokenneya, Director, Research and Development, NCC, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, said the grants were part of the commission’s strategy to encourage Nigerian students in their studies.

He said about 11 universities from various parts of the country would benefit from the education research grants.

“Even though there are researchers in those universities who are conducting the research, the grants are given to the universities so that they can be able to moderate what happens.

“It underscores the current focus of NCC which is setting up framework to collaborate with the academia and seeing how we can deepen growth in the industry.

“NOUN is going to tap from the rich knowledge resource the commission has on ICT, they will also get possible research grants on some issues that will be of mutual benefit to NCC and NOUN as well as the Nigerian public.

“This is because the commission recognises the need that we can deepen growth, facilitate innovations in the industry through research and because there are a lot of resources that abound in tertiary institutions in the country.

“So, what we have done is to facilitate research with the academia. We have received a lot of proposals from the universities; we have evaluated and selected for grants those that are of paramount interest to our current focus.

“Each of those research proposals has got a prototype from which we can work to commercialise them for the benefit of the industry,” Danbatta said.

NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, who was represented by Prof. Nebath Tanglang, said the university was working to enhance learning through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

This, the VC said, would be achieved through the World Bank funded African Centre of Excellence and Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL).

He also said that plans have been concluded to ensure women participated in the programme.

“This is a World Bank sponsored project and World Bank is always interested in issue of gender particularly in this programme, and one of the things we try to do is to ensure that each of the programme we run whether on research or other programmes, there must be space for women.

“We realised that what they do at NCC is almost what we do at NOUN and the purpose of our coming is to collaborate with them.

“At the African Centre of Excellence and Technology Enhanced Learning, we are going to run post graduate programmes on artificial intelligence, cloud computing as well as research.

“We are glad that even at NCC, there are component of research and we are going to leverage on that especially in the area of telecom research.

“We are glad that they are willing to collaborate with us and by the time we finish the arrangement of the collaboration, I know that the programme will take off in full,” Prof. Adamu said.

Prof. Grace Jokthan, Director ACETEL, explained that NOUN cannot make programme in using technology to deliver education without working with NCC.

She noted that ACETEL was deploying education using multimedia format and conferencing, to ensure students have access to things that otherwise they would not be able to do.

“We want to use the ICT sector to be able to engage in the education service delivery,” she added.

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NOUN to become centre of excellence for digital learning soon – VC

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NOUN

Abuja, March 19, 2019 The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), says a proposal for African Centre for Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) submitted to World Bank for funding of digital learning through NUC has scaled the first stage.

The Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university, Prof. Abdallah Adamu, disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing newsmen ahead of the 8th Convocation Ceremony scheduled for Saturday, March 23.

Adamu said the center when established, would focus on the development of information technologies for improving the quality of learning and digital policies that would improve learning in the university.

“The centre will be funded by the World Bank with 4, 000 dollars to- 6, 000 dollars in a five year cycle.

“The overall objective of the project is to increase quantity, quality and development of relevant postgraduate education in selected universities through regional specialisation.

“Hence, the proposed activities of the centre seek to address the developmental challenges by improving the quality of digital experts and policies.

“The centre also seek to achieve this through postgraduate education for capacity building of ICT tools in the acquisition of critical skills in science,” he said.

According to him, the Learning Content Management Directorate (LCMD), is strategically positioned to facilitate the fulfillment of NOUN’s mandate of providing functional and qualitative learning through the means online.

The V-C disclosed that 15 out of the 18 programmes submitted to the National University Commission (NUC) had all received accreditation.

He, however, disclosed that the Presidential Assent to the amendment of NOUN Bill would empower the institution to enter into negotiations with the authorities in charge of the Law School and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Edited

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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