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  • OS Book Chapter 1: The Need for and Nature of Open Schooling

  • Editor

    Administrator
    29th January 2021 at 9:51 am

    Please click reply to post your feedback on the material covered in chapter 1 or to leave a question for the author. Click Subscribe to be notified of new activity.

    Updated 09 February

    New resource: UNECA Paper Schools Reopening During Covid-19 Pandemic In South Africa: Lessons For The Future

  • Tony

    Moderator
    1st February 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Chapter 1 introduces key issues explored in more detail in subsequent chapters.

  • Hassan

    Member
    9th February 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Compliments. We have been discussing our challenges based on the Nigerian situation.. Dr. Tony, I concur with your Theory of Change model but then we in Nigeria need to develop an operation/logistics arrangeement that will take care of expected remisses or failure by the other arms of Govt. namely State SUBEBs/LGEAs where we are presently noticing some problems associated with lack of any dedicated fund for the OSP. The UBE needs to re-design the program reqirements for State that will make them do things according to plan(s) as thus:

    1. Apportionment of who does what, how, and when with details if possible with a pooled cost maintaiined by UBEC under the Social Mobilization Dept.

    2. Carry out a more extensice advocacy campaign to bring in the su[port of high & middle level actors at State and Federal sectors

    3. Re-design program to ciecumvent the problem faced as a result of Covi-19 to fast track Content Develpoment and eventual OSP launch

    4.Our political leaders have a pivotal role to play with this program, without their support we are no where. Present situation on not funding content development by most States is a clear example.

    Finally, CoL is just fine. UBE has to design a carrot and stick measure to encourage, access to the program like the Infrastrcture Funding process where States will advance certain amount to money in oder to access huge funds from UBE. As for Nigeria we are ready to commence all actions to start facilitating the new initiative as all conditions shows we are in dire need of CoL/UBE intervention. We may have some few exceptions but we are set for the program.

  • Tony

    Moderator
    9th February 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Dear Hassan

    We were very happy to read that the interventions put in place over the past year or so through UBEC have managed to reduce the number of out-of-school children from over 10 million to just over 6 million.

    However, given the difficulties of building and maintaining new schools and classrooms, and given the barriers that some children face in accessing traditional face-to-face schooling, we need more flexible ways to reach the remaining out-of-school children.

    This probably requires a combination of some after-hours face-to-face contact in existing schools and/or some broadcast media and/or some printed learning materials and/or some mobile and social media applications and/or some online learning opportunities to address a wide variety of needs.

    However, all of these things require that we first develop appropriate self-study learning content that is linked to the approved curriculum.

    We look forward to supporting UBEC’s plans in this regard going forward.

    In other countries, we work directly with the Ministry of Education or with public open schools such as the Namibian College of Open Learning, the Malawi College of Distance Education or the National Institute for Open Schooling in India for example. Each country needs to find a model that works for its own context, although some core principles are shared across models and discussed in later chapters of the book.

    Regards,

    Tony

  • Editor

    Administrator
    10th February 2021 at 1:05 am
  • Tony

    Moderator
    10th February 2021 at 6:14 pm

    This discussion document from South Africa highlights a challenge which many countries are now facing. When do we re-open schools and how do we do so safely? What is our evidence for decision-making? If we re-open, not all learners will come back so how do we reach out to them? If we re-open, but need to maintain physical distancing, then we cannot have all learners and teachers on campus at the same time, suggesting the need to use blended and flipped classroom strategies. And, of course, as systems explore remote and blended learning to address the needs of day scholars whose normal schooling has been disrupted, there is a tendency to forget about the learners who did not come to school even when they were open.

  • Simon

    Member
    10th February 2021 at 6:39 pm

    In my country in Eswatini, the Ministry of Education and Training has been grappling with the question of capacity for schools to reopen. Capacity in terms of handwashing facilities adequate enough to meet the needs of each school. Adequate provisions like soap, sanitizers, dispensers, water and masks. Having worked tirelessly to make such provisions, the Ministry is now faced with the challenge of the capacity to provide online learning. Are there adequate qualified personnel trained in ODL or online learning? Trained personnel is inadequate. Is there enough online technologies in place and readily available for every learner? The answer is no. Worst still, there’s no online learning materials for all the grades. The remaining option is face-to-face combined with the shift method to cater for social distancing. Because of these challenges, the decision to reopen has not yet been made.

  • Simon

    Member
    10th February 2021 at 7:01 pm

    I like your Theory of Change model. It is a practical approach to solving the problem of out of school children all over the world. Emlalatini Development Centre in Eswatini has adopted COL’s Theory of Change. In my country, there are many adults, especially women, who dropped out of school and never completed their basic education who still wants to continue with their education. Both boys and girls drop out of school on a regular basis due to a number of reasons like girls falling pregnant, loss of parents to AIDS and other infections and lack of money. After having trained 30 course writers, my institution is at the course materials development stage now. More people still need to be trained on OS, especially management and teachers.

  • Tony

    Moderator
    11th February 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Dear Simon

    Yes, we have a dual challenge at the moment – continuity of learning for day scholars while also reaching out to those who do not come back when we re-open and also reaching the learners we did not reach even when schools were open as normal.

    You might find this new report interesting:

    https://www.adb.org/publications/building-systemic-resilience-school-ways

    Regards,

    Tony

  • Dr Tommie

    Member
    18th February 2021 at 5:10 am

    Excellent and informative model theory for OS. In Botswana, being Botswana Open University, we have now effective 1st April, 2021 designed a model that is exciting on how open schooling is embedded in the University structure. We have a principal who reports directly to the VC and board. Then two deputy principals; one for material development and another for regional operations. You might interested to learn that we have five regions. Then it goes down to Head of Departments (Production, Math and Science, Humanities and social sciences, Vocational) followed by senior subject specialists it goes on like that until we have administrative assistant to principal.

    Why am I sharing this? To show how our model of having an autonomous college of open schooling operate within the university and we follow the govt conventional school curriculum. After 1st April, it will exciting to see how the implementation of this new structure will be.

  • Tony

    Moderator
    18th February 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Dear Tommie

    It would be good if the BOU OS model could be written up at some point so that we can provide examples of possibilities to countries/institutions moving into open schooling for the first time.

    Regards,

    Tony

  • Dr Tommie

    Member
    19th February 2021 at 5:53 am

    Very good idea doc. Surely we should do a case study of BOU OS model after April 2020 and have it even in next Connections newsletter.

    Regards

    Tommie

  • Simon

    Member
    24th February 2021 at 7:37 pm

    Hello Tony,

    The Asian Policy brief outlines the key concepts covered in Chapter 1 and it expands on the COL Theory of Change.

    I am also of the notion the training and re-skilling of teachers on e-pedagogy is key and a great starting point.

    The move from summative to formative assessment and the consideration of other forms of assessment like using Portfolios for entry into tertiary education is a huge paradigm shift. Authentic assessment will provide learners with essential and relevant industry requirements.

    This is a great policy brief that my country, Eswatini and my institution, Emlalatini Development Centre can learn a lot from.

  • bkabuati

    Member
    1st July 2021 at 11:10 am

    In a country like mine, Kiribati, where we have 33 scattered islands. Internet is something some island will have no idea. How do we define the need and Nature of Open schooling? Every year, we have about 3.000 students sat for national paper, only a few hundreds will have a place to continue their education. My country, Kiribati, surely be the first to go for open schooling. Money and material resources are the factors to tap before we can start defining OPEN SCHOLING for Kiribati.

  • Tony

    Moderator
    6th July 2021 at 12:23 am

    Dear Colleague

    In order to attract funding, it is useful to have some evidence of a successful intervention which can be scaled.

    In some countries, we still rely on printed resources and occasional after-hours support in day schools.

    In yet other countries, we have developed interactive curriculum-based digital resources which learners can download offline, through COL’s Aptus device, and continue to work with offline when they return home.

    In other countries again, we make extensive use of broadcast media.

    There is no one size fits all. We need to find out what works best in your context and then seek funding to scale it up.

    Regards,

    Tony

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