Education means a lot to the development of the Internet. It started as an experiment in the Academia, because researchers and educators needed to communicate. It spread across the continents of the world. Not done, researchers needed to communicate with the Industry, and of course, not to be left behind, Commerce was added to the compelling reasons for having the Internet.
Because education is something that is priceless and constantly being pursued by most people, we must continue to explore ways that the Internet can be used to spread knowledge. This is where Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) come to the rescue, and provides a window of opportunity for the less privileged to also be educated.
Many influential Universities, including the likes of Stanford, Harvard, MIT, CMU etc have joined the MOOC revolution. Not to forget other initiatives such as the Khan Academy started by Salman Khan just to help his cousins with their assignments. So Successful was Khan Academy that in 2010, Google donated $2m to it, for the development of new courses and the translation of courses into other languages apart from English. The Khan Academy website (http://khanacademy.org) declares “You can learn anything. For free for everyone. Forever. and that is very bold!
MOOCs are regarded as very potent tools for making Higher Education available to very many people in the developing countries of the world. They are turning materials hitherto very hard to come by into readily available tools for educating the people. Knowledge is no longer available only to the elites, it is something most people can ingest from the comfort of their homes.
Educators should begin to explore how they can better create content that is indigenous and that clearly brings knowledge to Nigerians in different areas. Just like the Internet was a product of Research that has come to benefit the world, MOOCs are gradually becoming pervasive and all should take advantage of it. The next generation of teachers may once again be self-taught, and the tools are all there now. Whether we will be producers of the contents or consumers of the content, we just must ensure that we take advantage of the revolution. Are you ready?
Thank you, and Welcome
At the just concluded NiRA 9th Annual General Meeting, Messrs Sikiru Shehu, Adebunmi Adeola Cornerstone, Lanre Ajayi and Bimbo Olayinka retired from the Executive Board of Directors after years of meritorious service to the Association. This is note of appreciation to say “Thank You” for your dedication and service to our dear Association NIRA.
Let me seize this opportunity to welcome Mmes Yetunde Johnson and Nkem Nweke as well as Messrs Eugene Ohu and Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. Congratulations on your election to the Executive Board of NIRA. I am excited with the prospects of working with you and the other Board members, to fulfil our mandate.
I have learnt a lot in the last few weeks, especially the conduct of our Electronic General Meeting (e-GM) and the process undertaken by NiRA to ensure a credible and successful online voting at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). The lessons will positively influence my outlook and indeed my disposition as your President until the end of my tenure, and indeed for life.
I remain at your service.
Rev’d Sunday Folayan
President, NIRA Executive Board