As part of the  UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation  (UNESCO-ICHEI) requirement, the Federal Ministry of Education has approved the sitting of the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) Nigeria National Centre at Ahmadu Bello University.

Mrs. R.G. Iliyasu, Director of University Education at the Federal Ministry of Education, claimed in a recent letter to Ahmadu Bello University’s Vice-Chancellor that the Minister of Education has given his consent.

The Nigeria National Centre of the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) launched digitally on April 20, 2022, at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.

The Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), Ahmadu Bello University, UNESCO-ICHEI, UNESCO Priority Africa and External Relations Sector, UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, and all these organizations worked together to organize the event.

The Center is anticipated to make use of the networks and assets of IIOE, build a connection between UNESCO-ICHEI and the Nigerian higher education community, and establish a local higher education ecosystem that is supportive of Nigeria’s national development plans.

The Center’s successful opening would aid in West Africa’s and Nigeria’s transition to a digital higher education system.

Additionally, the IIOE Nigeria National Center would contribute significantly to closing the digital divide in the global south and achieving SDG4 through the combined efforts of IIOE and its partners.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Li Ming, Director of UNESCO-ICHEI, declared that UNESCO-ICHEI was dedicated to assisting Nigeria in its journey toward the digital transformation of higher education.

Prof. Ming was convinced that the IIOE Nigeria National Centre will successfully bridge the gap between UNESCO-ICHEI and Nigeria’s higher education sector.

Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Ahmed Doko Ibrahim, believed that the facilities supplied by UNESCO for the project will improve work and be accessible to all other universities in Nigeria.

During the one-day event, speakers included officials from the Federal Ministry of Education, the National Universities Commission (NUC), the University of Lagos, and other significant stakeholders.

The presentations made by the Programme Officer, UNESCO-ICHEI, Ms. Qiao Shi, and the Head, Department of Computer Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. M.B. Mu’azu, on the IIOE Nigeria National Centre Implementation Framework and Work Plan were the event’s highlights.

In December 2019, UNESCO-ICHEI, in collaboration with African and Asian HEIs and private sector partners, founded the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE). It was also approved by UNESCO.

Since its founding, IIOE has offered a multilingual online education platform, programs for increasing teacher capacity in Big Data, AI, online and blended pedagogy, and online STEM courses.

In addition to the IIOE Quality Assurance Framework and Toolkit for Online and Blended Teaching and Learning, the IIOE Competency Framework for the Higher Education Workforce is being developed.

Since 2019, Ahmadu Bello University, as a founding member of the IIOE, and UNESCO-ICHEI has collaborated extensively in ICT capacity building, digital infrastructure, academic exchange, and cooperative research.

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