Regulation of Teaching and Learning on Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) Programme in National Open University of Nigeria: A Call for a Paradigm Shift

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // The teaching and learning on Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) is one of the most regulated professions globally. This is due to the specialty of the programme and the relevance of law to all spheres of life and the society. Hence, the upsurge demand of LL.B degree programme globally will subsists. In the UK, the total law student enrolments in 2011 grew from 70,500, to 122,755 by 2019/2020 and in 2020/2021 to 138,080. The LL.B enrolments increased from 89165 in 2019/2020 to 99780 in 2020/2021 sessions. The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) had increased admission of LL.B students from 2007 to 2015 and the total number of admitted law students in NOUN is 28921. A total of 197,015 LL.B degree holders had been called to the Nigerian Bar as at 2021. Yet many qualified citizens are deprived access to the study of LL.B programme in Nigeria due to low admission capacity that is based on quota in Nigeria and rigidity of conventional universities. // The emergence of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) as a viable alternative mode of delivery of LL.B has not received the needed support of the regulatory bodies in Nigeria. The main argument against ODL is that some components of LL.B programme are procedural and the skills practical, which are best learnt through face-to-face teaching and in residential university. This paper using doctrinal and case study methods identifies the concerns of the regulatory bodies, regarding teaching and learning on LL.B through ODL in the NOUN to include the admission process, the delivery mode and the number of intake. It also found that although 12 ODL centres have been approved by NUC, none is currently running LL.B programme. // The paper conclude that the position of CLE contradicts the apparent reality driven by information and communication technology (ICT) revolution that spares no sector or profession. The conventional universities, the courts and other levels of education are fast adjusting to this reality of information technology driven world as exacerbated by the emergence of Covid 19. On the basis of the findings and leveraging on the NOUN”s experience with the regulators, the paper proffers far reaching solutions. The paper therefore suggests an accreditation that emphases quality than tradition and perception and also recommends the introduction of ICT and artificial intelligence (AI) into the curriculum of teaching and learning on legal education and LL.B in Nigeria. // Paper ID 2150

Higher Education,Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Teaching and Learning Methods