Friday October 16, 2015
By Wuraola Ajanlekoko
Pioneer Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and Secretary to the government of Kogi State, Prof Olugbemiro Jegede, will today formally receive this year’s International Council for Distance Education’s (ICDE) Excellence Award for lifelong contribution to the field of Open and Distance Education worldwide.
The award will form part of the highlights of the 26th ICDE World Conference, which began in Sun City, South Africa on October 14 and will end today.
The 77-year old ICDE is the leading global membership organization for enhancing the quality of open, distance, flexible, online education and e-learning.
The ceremony is expected to showcase both Nigeria’s contributions to global education and Jegede’s influence in local, regional and global development in education.
The decision of the International Jury of Experts in Open and Distance Learning to nominate him was informed by his lifelong achievements and significant contributions to the international community of open and distance education.
In Nigeria, when the first attempt to create wide access to education through the Open and Distance Learning model in 1983 was quashed by the military in 1984, most Nigerians had thought the idea was dead forever.
But in 2001, former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration invited Jegede to midwife the establishment of the country’s National Open University. He became the institution’s pioneer chief executive and laid a solid foundation upon which it is now firmly rooted. The NOUN has been graduating, on the average, about 5000 students yearly. It recently appointed Jegede as its first Emeritus Professor. Obasanjo also studied Theology at the institution and graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma.
Before then, Jegede had also contributed to the development of ODL across several continents, including Australia, Asia (Hong Kong and China) and Africa. He served at the Curtin University of Technology, Perth Australia in 1988; the University of Southern Queensland from 1991 to 1997, and the Open University of Hong Kong from 1997 to 2003.
He was the foundation director of the various research centres in the universities he worked in. While at the Open University of Hong Kong, Jegede contributed immensely to the modernization of ODL in Mainland China, embarked upon from 1997. He moved to Africa in 2001 to help establish ODL in Nigeria.
Among other feats, Jegede was invited by the Executive Council of the ICDE to chair its International Research Committee in 2001. The same year, the ICDE’s Standing Conference of Presidents also asked him to lead a team of international ODL researchers to investigate and develop a research agenda for the organization. The report was completed and submitted to the ICDE World Conference, held in Dusseldorf, Germany in April, 2001.
When the World Bank decided to publicise ODL through a series of online network of expertise, activities and major regional developments in the late 90s, he was appointed as Manager of the East Asia regional node of the World Bank Global Distance Education Network, from 1997 to 2002. He was also the Chairman/President of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) from 2009 to 2011.
Jegede was serving as Secretary General of the Association of African Universities (AAU) when Governor Idris Wada invited him on July 2, 2012 to serve as the SSG of Kogi State
Over 56 doctoral graduates worldwide have studied his famous Theory of Collateral Learning.