The advocacy team of the Kaduna Study Centre led by its centre director, Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf has intensified advocacy campaign with visits to Queen Amina College and Capital School, Kaduna where the team interacted with the teachers and final year students.
NOUN News recalled that the Centre director Mr. Yusuf in an interview shortly after his appointment, stated that final year students of senior secondary schools are his prime target of advocacy.
This is because the number of qualified candidates being produced by the secondary schools can not be absorbed by the conventional universities, said Yusuf.
Therefore, there was a need to adequately inform the teaming graduates and those about to graduate secondary school students and beyond about the existence of the National Open University of Nigeria and the bountiful benefits it brought to their door steps which awaits their exploration.
At Queen Amina College, Kaduna. The team was received by the principal of the College, Mrs. Rakiya Ismaila Ahmad.
The team had in the first place interacted with the staff of the college, before they later engaged the 600 final year students of the college.
During the engagement with the teachers, Mr. Yusuf said they were at the college to interact and tell people about the existence of the University.
He informed them the university is owned and controlled by the federal government of Nigeria just like any other university it’s been established by an act.
The university is at par with any other university in Nigeria,said Yusuf.
Further more, he stated that aside from physical interaction, all other things are the same.
The virtual interaction between the students and their tutors online facilitation and online resource material form the basis of learning at the university.
He upheld that NOUN is the biggest university in Sub-Saharan African.
Historically, he informed the congregation of the teachers, the university act was signed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1983, later suspended by President Muhammad Buhari in 1984,when he realized that the university lacked adequate infrastructure to run the affair of the university.
Later in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo resuscitated the university, because he was passionate about the university, he enrolled as a student from PGD to PhD in Christian Theology.
Yusuf further informed that the university has eight faculties in Arts, Social Sciences, Management, Health, Agric and Education.
He further explained that the university is anchored on three basic Philosophy, Affordability, Accessibility and Flexibility.
At the point of entry, he maintained that JAMB is not a prerequisite for admission into the university rather the basic five O-level credits which include mathematics and English Language.
Addressing the congregation of about six hundred graduating students of the college, Yusuf substantially discussed about the historical developments of the university, its status and the bountiful opportunities it's brought to the people of the country.
He assured them that the National Open University of Nigeria is there for them as not all of them can be absorbed by the conventional universities.
For those that soon after graduation would be send to their matrimonial homes, their hope is not death, because National Open University has provided an opportunity for you to pursue your educational career even if you are at trenches not even at your comfort of your house.
Therefore, he called on them to enroll at the National Open University of Nigeria as it is the university of the moment.
In her remarks, the Principal of the College, Mrs. Rakiya Ismaila Ahmad appreciated the visit and consider it as developmental.
Ahmad said the information the university brought to the college is very vital to the staff and students.
She highlighted that the current situation in Nigeria and especially in the North has mandated us to embrace the system of learning by the National Open University of Nigeria.
She urged the university to introduce courses and programmes in the area of vocational programmes so as to assist the girls to become independent when they got married.
"This guarantees the continuity in the marriage," said the principal.
She maintained that substantial number of the staff and students are not aware of the information about the existence and activities of the university for years.
She thanked them for the guidance on the Open and Distance Learning Education and assured full corporation and support.
In a similar fashion, at Kaduna Capital School, the advocacy team engaged the staff of the school in a rigorous campaign.
Like at Queen Amina College, the historical development of the university was given by the Centre director Mr. Yusuf Abdullahi.
Later, discussed on the owner and control of the university which he stated that it is being established by a similar act that established other conventional universities in the country.
In terms of certificate recognition, he maintained that the certificate of the National Open University of Nigeria is at par with any other university in Nigeria and beyond.
“It is a criminal offence to reject the certificate of the university," said the director.
He stated that the university is well represented with about 103 Study Centres across the Federation.
The first study centre was created in Kaduna which metamorphosed to 4, the Centre for the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kagoro Community Study Centre, and the special centre for the inmates located at Kaduna central Custodial Centre, then the Kaduna Centre.
Sheer number of demand formed the basis for the establishment of special and community study Centre, the director said.
He hinted out that UNESCO seeing the the gigantic effort by the university for giving inmates free education, has since given a monetary donation to the university.
He emphasised that the university like other universities in the country is regulated by the National Universities Commissions.
NOUN is further regulated by other Agencies like, African Centre for Distance Education with its headquarters in Nairobi Kenya and CommonWealth of Learning, with its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada.
He thanked principal of the school for given the university opportunity to interact with the Staff of the school.
In his remarks the principal of the Mr. Jaafar Abdu appreciated the visit and opportunity to be in the first phase to receive the first grade information about the university.
Jaafar said he is aware that the Federal Government introduces a policy of self study which the National Open University of Nigeria has since set up the pace even before it was introduced by the government.
Further expressed that the information given is very important to the teachers and down to the families at home.
With the opportunity brought by the university, he maintained that he is optimistic the problem of learning will gradually fade up.
He therefore thanked the University for this vital opportunity given to them.
Questions were raised regarding some grey areas like, how valid is the certificate, the issue of Law School and NOUN students, NYSC and host of others.
At the end, the questions were substantially and clearly addressed by the Centre director.