Aligning Sustainable Development Goal 4 with Provision of Distance Learning through Library Perspective: The Case of the Open University of Tanzania
Keywords:Sustainable Development Goal 4, Libraries, Open and Distance Learning, Tanzania
AbstractSustainable development goal number four (SDG 4) is the education goal whose main focus is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities. In that perspective, its focus on the promotion of lifelong learning augurs well with the mainstay of distance education in any country. This linkage is anchored on the quality, timely provision of knowledge through libraries that are entrusted with the role of searching, acquiring, processing and make access to various distance learners knowledge in various forms for their continuous learning and attaining various qualifications. Sustainable development goal number four (SDG 4) lies at the centre of all other goals as it entails transforming societies globally into learned, aware, and one that can cope with changes at economic, political economic and social levels. Impliedly, education for all that is the main proponent of this goal must be achieved using all avenues possible including open distance learning for those that cannot afford it through other conventional education systems. Libraries are the lifeline of open and distance learning. Over years, especially with the fast-changing technologies and more emphasis on e-learning of which open distance learning has also adopted quickly, the role of library has had challenges in terms of the visibility on services it provides, availability of adequate resources to cope with such changes and, skilled staff to offer library services with e-learning base. This paper explores issues related to the role of library services in supporting promotion of lifelong education through distance education systems and as articulated in the sustainable development goal four (4). The paper examines ongoing global as well as national efforts of libraries in supporting distance education in the modern era and through the existing technologies. The linkage of the three variables, i.e. SDG4, distance education and library services is, without any doubt, of critical importance for the continuous growth and improvement of learning through distance education.