Equalizing Educational Opportunity in Nigeria Through Open and Distance Learning

Abstract:

Education has been universally acknowledged as a potent and dynamic instrument for national development and social transformation. It is an important instrument for the development of the individual and the society as it is a weapon against poverty, illiteracy, and disease. In Nigeria, the importance of education in the development of the individual and the nation is highly recognized. Education according to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a fundamental human right and the key factor to promoting sustainable development. Education as seen by Erese (1983) is “a birth right and not a privilege of every citizen of any country”. The Nigerian National Policy on Education (2004) defines education as that process that helps to develop the whole being, physically, mentally, morally, politically, socially and technologically to enable individuals function in any environment in which they may find themselves. As a process, education involves the development of the individual at various levels of educational institutions. The policy added that access to education and training is not only basic human right but also a key factor for social progress and in reducing the gap between socio-economic groups and sexes. The policy also made provision for equal access to educational opportunities for all citizens at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education.