The advocacy train of Fugar Community Study Centre in Edo State has moved to markets in the area and its environs, sensitising and mobilising people to take advantage of courses and programmes available at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
The exercise, led by the director of the centre, Prof. Jonathan Aliede, involved staff of the centre, which first berthed at Fugar Central Market in Etsako Central Local Government Area before it moved to Agenebode Market in Etsako East Local Government Area.
The campaign featured meeting people in their shops, shades, offices, and houses from one street to another, as the campaigners later moved into the open market to enlighten and persuade the people on the inherent merits of taking up courses and programmes at the Nigeria’s acclaimed premier Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution.
The team, with a number of vehicles, public address system, posters and handbills, used the promotional exercise to elicit tremendous interest and enthusiasm among the populace.
Evidence of such interest was epitomised in the probing questions on issues like the entry/enrolment requirements, mode of operation, courses available and the duration.
Other inquiries made were cost of each programme, method of payment of tuition, as well as quality and standard of certificates awarded by the institution.
The prospects were highly elated at the unique qualities of the programmes of the university.
They expressed delight that there was no disruption in the academic calendar of the NOUN, as the staff do not embark on industrial actions as their counterparts in the conventional universities in the country were currently doing.
They also noted with pleasure what they saw as another major advantage being the fact that students would run their programmes simultaneous with whatever they were doing – trading, farming, fishing, transporting, artisanship, teaching or civil service jobs.
The discerning public thus promised to embrace this new system of education in order to improve their qualifications and social status.
The climax of the event was an interactive session during which the traders asked questions while the centre director gave them satisfactory responses.
The audience jubilantly thanked the management of the university and the federal government for bringing such innovative project to their door steps and promised to justify the gesture by patronising the study centre as well as spreading the good news to others.