Professor Mrs. Goski Alabi, President of the African Council for Distance Education(ACDE), has called on the global community to prioritize, support, and promote the ratification and implementation of the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications.
Prof. Mrs. Alabi believed the implementation of the provisions of the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications would help nations achieve the desired quality education for all, “leaving no one behind”.
She made the call when she delivered the keynote speech at the 29th International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) World Conference held recently in Costa Rica. The Conference focused on the Pivotal Role of OFDel in Promoting Peace and Inclusive Education Across Africa.
According to Prof. Mrs. Alabi, who is also Co-Founder and Consulting President of Laweh University College in Accra, 23 countries, including Cape Verde and Côte d’Ivoire from Africa, have ratified the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications since its formulation on March 23, 2023.
The convention aims to facilitate international academic mobility and ensure fair evaluation of qualifications.
She addressed critical issues for the future of Open, Flexible, Distance and electronic Learning(OFDeL), emphasizing the importance of higher education in Africa, where 70% of the population is under 30. She highlighted key concerns, including ensuring inclusivity, quality of higher education, the role of global conventions in recognizing qualifications, and the integration of new pathways through the recognition of Prior Learning.
Prof. Mrs. Alabi, a professor of Total Quality Management and Leadership, also posed critical questions on the nature of higher education, urging a re-evaluation of its structure, purpose, and approach. She questioned the traditional 4-year undergraduate degree, suggesting a shift in focus from certification to relevant knowledge and skills.
She begged the question whether examinations should be abolished in favour of other forms of assessments that can demonstrate the achievements of learning outcomes.
She underscored the need for collaboration among OFDeL institutions, emphasizing the transformative role of technology in trans-national education. She highlighted trends promoting collaborations, citing examples like MIT Pathway Programs and the University of Arizona’s Micro Campus model.
Looking to the future, Prof Mrs. Alabi proposed strategies to promote OFDeL, including supporting ICDE Global Advocacy Campaigns, demonstrating comparability of OFDeL
qualifications, and exploring practical approaches to integrate Artificial Intelligence in OFDeL.
She emphasized the role of Artificial Intelligence(AI) in Higher education and the need for a academia to use AI in Higher Education ethically.