25 July 2016 – Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), to deliver the first public lecture of the National Open University of Nigeria’s (NOUN) Distinguished Lecture Series in Abuja, Nigeria, on Wednesday, 27 July 2016. Prof Asha Kanwar will speak about the potential of open and distance learning (ODL) to reach the unreached.

“It is an honour to open the distinguished lecture series,” said Asha Kanwar. “COL and our Nigerian partners have worked together extensively, using ODL to improve access to quality education and training. Thanks to institutes like RETRIDOL and their host NOUN, these efforts are felt not only here in Nigeria but also in West Africa.”

In Nigeria, COL works through a variety of initiatives in the fields of higher education, flexible technical and vocational skills training, and capacity building through teacher education. In collaboration with NOUN, COL supports the Regional Training and Research Institute for Distance and Open Learning (RETRIDOL), which serves as a centre of expertise in open and distance learning for West Africa.

Nigeria is an active member of the Commonwealth and provides financial and intellectual contributions to COL. As a major donor, Nigeria has a seat on the COL Board of Governors, which is currently occupied by Her Excellency Ambassador Mariam Katagum.

About Asha Kanwar
Professor Asha Singh Kanwar, one of the world’s leading advocates for learning for sustainable development, became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) on June 1, 2012.  She has served COL for 12 years, first as an Education Specialist – Higher Education and Policy and then as its Vice President for six years. Before joining COL, Professor Kanwar was a consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) in Dakar, Senegal. She has over 30 years of experience in teaching, research and administration.

About the Commonwealth of Learning
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. Hosted by the Government of Canada and headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation solely concerned with the promotion and development of distance education and open learning. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training.

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