INFLUENCE OF PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME ON DISTANCE LEARNING

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study
Nigeria attained her independence in 1960. Since then, she has
witnessed a very rapid population growth and this has spread to the education
industry. There is surely a fundamental problem of unmet demand for
education posed by this rapid population growth and its pressure can be felt on
the educational system. Many adults who have acquired primary or secondary
education and are working find it difficult to continue their education on full
time bases. There are many young adults who cannot gain admission into
conventional tertiary institutions in Nigeria because of their inability to pass the
entrance exam. The working class are not given full opportunity to further
their studies as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (2004). These
have caused several institutions of learning to embark upon appropriate means
of making education available to people wherever they are, hence the
emergence of distance education. The rationale for distance education
programme therefore is to provide on the spot training for manpower
development.
Distance education refers to any form of organized educational
experience in which teaching and learning take place with teachers at a distance
from the learners most of the time. Perraton (1991) sees distance education as
an educational process in which a significant proportion of teaching is
conducted by someone removed in space and time from the learners. Moreso, it
is used to cover various forms of study at all levels where students are not in
constant physical contact with their teachers (Nwizu, 2001). The term Distance
Education acquired universal acceptance around 1982 when the International
Council for Correspondence Education (ICCE) a UNESCO affiliated

organization, changed its name to the International Council for Distance
Education (ICDE) (Bhola, 1989).
The practice of distance education in Nigeria dates back to 1887 when
some Nigerians started enrolling for London University External Degree
Examinations while working (Omolewa, 1985). Moreover, the major objective
of Distance education in Nigerian Universities is to broaden access to higher
education for those already working and who need various types of formal and
continuing education in order to perform better in their jobs (Nwizu, 2001).

Statement of the Problem
Distance education personnel, both experienced and inexperienced,
require at one time or the other on the job training or professional growth and
development. Contrary to this, Universities in Nigeria and DE institutions in
particular have been indicted for seemingly paying inadequate attention to staff
training and development (Onah, 2003). Recently, following the controversies
that culminated to the closure of satellite campuses and study centres, there has

arisen the need for a more stringent concern for those neglected issues such as
staff training and development programmes, availability of qualified and
experienced tutors, course writers or designers, administrators and other
categories of staff that are crucial for effective implementation of DE
programmes in Nigeria.
Specifically, Onuoha (1994) asserted that the management of the
Personnel in the Institute for Distance Education of the Abia State University
has been ineffective and inefficient thereby casting aspersions on the DE
programme of the University. In a related development, Ebirim (2002) and
Yudkowsky (1998) variously noted equally that Distance educators and their
workforce are either not trained or under-trained. With this scenario, how can
the goals of DE be achieved? It has become evident that for DE
institutions to function optimally and realize the goals for which they were
established, the staff must be trained and developed to enable them contribute
their full measure to the objective of the institutions.

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Updated: 16th November 2020 — 5:31 pm

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