Open and distance learning: the opportunity of socioeconomic transformation for Zambians.

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Muleya, Gistered
Ndhlovu, Daniel
Namangala, Boniface
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International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development Volume: 2, Issue: 9,
In Zambia, Open and Distance learning (ODL) as an opportunity of socio-economic transformation to citizens has existed for decades but with very little emphasis by the education providers. Despite little emphasis of ODL, this paper argues that it is a viable opportunity of socio-economic transformation for Zambians. . This argument emanates from the background that conventional mode of learning in a classroom has for a long time limited a lot of citizens from acquiring specialised type of education resulting in most sectors of the economy such as Education, Health, Manufacturing, Mining, Engineering, Defence and Security understaffed in Zambia. To address this shortage of specialised work force in Zambia, there is an urgent demand for specialised education. But how can the depleted or scanty levels of human resource leave their work places and go to sit in a classroom for a period ranging from four to six years to obtain a first degree level of education at the expense of providing their critical services required of them their fellow citizens? This question leaves us with no option but to argue that ODL is a viable option or opportunity in addressing the growing demand for education for socio-economic transformation in Zambia. ODL can increase the capacity of education institutions without extensive building of infrastructure by allowing learners the flexibility to remain in their communities or work places. In addition, ODL provides an opportunity to learners who work full-time and who are unable to attend full-time conventional mode of learning to acquire education relevant to their career paths. Education is a tool for socio-economic transformation of societies and countries. Through education societies can acquire right knowledge, skill, values and attitudes that are oriented to transforming their socio-economic lives.
Open learning, , Distance learning. , Socio-economic transformation.