Policies and Practice of Open and Distance Learning Models in the Sub-Saharan African Countries: A Literature Survey
Onyemaechi Joseph Onwe

Abstract
As in any developing economy, the Sub-Saharan African countries think of education for all as major impetus behind fundamental change or transformation. This may explain the first three major emphases of the 2004 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): (i) eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; (ii) achievement of universal primary education; and (iii) promotion of gender equality and women empowerment. Development economists and other concerned social scientists see transformation of the Sub-Saharan African countries as multi-dimensional in the sense that changes occur across various domains including, political, cultural, social, economic, intellectual and technological domains. It is worthy of note that as at present, none of the Sub-Saharan African countries has, by policy implementation fulfilled the promise of providing education for all through the existing traditional or conventional education system. It was in search for alternative implementation agent for the educational policies in these countries that gave rise to the evolution of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems. Apart from quality issues, a major problem of interest has been those of the implementable policies and ethical practice of ODL models in the Sub-Saharan African countries. This paper aims at examining the current policies and practice of ODL models in the Sub-Saharan African countries, with a view to identifying the best practice for a sustainable educational system in these countries. The applicable method involves review of the literature on policies and practice of ODL models, with major emphasis on sponsored studies published in relevant journals, conference proceedings, and unpublished reports. Our analysis indicates that majority of subsaharan African countries have accepted the benefits of distance learning. They seek curriculum design that meet practical traditional needs. Major problems are lack of expertise in the practice of ODL models and lack of documentation. The following recommendations are in place: need to formulate policies on effective documentation and emphasis on trained manpower.

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