Have a college diploma and be among the high-flyers
You go out to try stake a claim on some kind of life and you say, oh a lot of opportunities there are indeed and they are sauntering about in their suits, stilettos and sweet smiles. Some come in their flashy cars bringing flashy gadgets. They make you drool and issue wishes in the air. Opportunities clad in different wondrous garbs come and wheeze by and you are left stuck in your place – definitely not going anywhere. You wish you had that degree, that certificate, that diploma. You wish you had studied better or taken the time to learn a skill. And oh how you wish you simply had the time and energy to go back to “school.” Isn’t it rather too late now? I’m already quite old and I have my job and one and many other tasks, you almost weep.
As shallow as it may seem, some people who never had some higher education or had but did not get to graduate silently acknowledge that though it’s not really that deep a resentment, it would have been great if they were able to experience what a lot of people have, like cram for exams, beat deadlines, fret over the thesis completion and defense and finally strut up there on the stage in complete graduation regalia and be conferred that honor of being called a graduate or having successfully finished something potentially life-changing.
Somehow, the whole process of getting a higher education or any formal education for that matter leaves a different kind of imprint on those who have gone through it. All along that reading, writing, listening and speaking out in classes, some kind of discipline is bred even in those terribly undisciplined ones, or a sort of flowering or maturing, if you may. At the very least, you do get to acquire more knowledge. But going to a school of higher education simply for knowledge is always never the point.
So you have all those wishes …
But wish no more! Education has never been more accessible than it is today. Governments the world over, pushed by the United Nations itself, have created initiatives that aim to make education available for all. For indeed education is one of the ways we can fight the social iniquities, prejudice and discrimination still prevalent in our world. It is a potent tool for self-empowerment and of course, progress. And the world as it is shaping now needs more empowered and forward-looking people.
And but of course, that can also be you.
You start taking charge of your life. Decide to improve and accept that you’re not doing yourself any justice by not doing anything or by settling with what you have now. You definitely deserve better. Learn that skill, get that knowledge, that degree, that certificate, that diploma, if not through traditional means, through distance learning! This may indeed be the first step that will marry you to your much dreamed of success or better opportunities.
What is Distance Learning?
Distance Learning allows students to learn from anywhere anytime usually through technological media like the web or the phone. Universities offering distance education are often called “Open Universities.” Their very basic principle is also that of having more “open” admissions, less tight than the usual admissions process and requirements of the traditional universities so they could provide learning opportunities to as many people as possible.
Even the elite universities are putting up “Open Universities” now, opening their doors to those who otherwise could not attend residential classes for reasons like geographical distance, health limitations, financial constraints, among other challenges. You can also depend on the fact that the standard of teaching delivered by these Open Universities and their programs on the whole is just as good as that in their traditional classes.
Bloom amidst the diversity!
The demographics of open universities are mixed. You can have a classmate as young as 17 or as old as a 50-year old mom. A co-learner can be based in China, the UK, the Middle East or even in some remote prison or home. Some you will learn have physical disabilities or health limitations. The nationalities can vary. Some already are professionals, the others are first-time university students. From that varied mix of learners alone, you are bound to see perspectives and hear of experiences that will greatly enrich your own. The programs or modules may consist of graded and open forums, Tutor-marked Assignments (TMA), Computer-marked Assignments (CMA), a proctored paper exam or an EMA (End of Module Assessment). At times you will also be asked to do real-world observations, studies, surveys or research.
Relish the freedom!
There are also deadlines, it has its own demands, and you may have to read a lot (and try to understand what you’re reading on your own first); otherwise, the gears and the whole drive are totally in your hands.
Reap the rewards!
In no time at all you will know how it is to have graduated or seen a course through to the end. Your graduation may not have the usual graduation ceremony but the feeling for sure will be the same. And then on, you too will get your share of the pie and you will then say, Why did I ever think it’s too late?
Might want to check UPOU’s website for their admission requirements here.