The Centre for Distance Learning, Joseph Ayo Babalola University (CDL JABU) was established in response to the yearning of a large number of people for a flexible mode of tertiary education, and to provide access to teeming Nigerians who currently, due to cost, do not have access to tertiary education.
As part of the desire to fulfill its mission of providing access to tertiary level education to people desirous of it, the Senate of Joseph Ayo Babalola University introduced a Part time programme in 2011, this was very successful and was heavily by persons from all over the Country.
The programme was however terminated due to interventions from the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the students were offered the option of converting to Full Time mode of study (non-residential). The heavy subscription to the attempted part time programme and the subsequent willingness of majority of the Part Time students to convert to Full time non-residential mode of study demonstrated to the University Management the interest of a large number of people to benefit from the type of education that JABU provided.
The Nigerian Nation policy on Education affirms lifelong education, and provides that at any stage, after junior secondary education, an individual shall be able to choose between continuing fulltime studies, combining work with study, or embarking of full time employment without excluding the prospect of resuming studies later.
The demographic spread of those who subscribed to the attempted Part time programme and converted to Full time non-residential mode of study showed to the University Management that a large number of people interested in tertiary education desired a flexible mode of study that would enable them retain their jobs while acquiring higher education i.e. combine work with study.
It was also clear that a large number of people were interested in resuming studies after long breaks to engage in paid work but their demographic placement in terms of age makes it extremely difficult to engage in full time study.
The Management of JABU viewed this as a call to duty and came up with the idea of establishing distance learning mode of study to further provide access to tertiary education especially for these people who are desirous of life-long learning.
Hence as responsible corporate citizen, in February 2013, it approached the NUC with a letter of intent to embark on Distance Learning mode of delivering tertiary education to those who would have otherwise been denied. The initiative was commended by the NUC in its response about a month later (March 2013), which detailed what the University was required to do.
The University Management has since then taken steps towards establishing the Centre for Distance Learning as a prelude to embarking on the Open and Distance learning mode of education delivery. The ODL mode is intended to run alongside the face to face mode and at least measure up to the FTF mode in all aspects in terms of quality of education given.