Senate Moved To Amend The Noun Act Of 1983
By Christiana Ekpa
Efforts by the Senate to upgrade the standard of the National Open University (NOUN) was yesterday put in motion as the upper chamber moved to amend the NOUN Act of 1983.
It also under scored the need to amend relevant sections of the Act including Section three (3) of the principal act that mandates the University to establish 774 community study centers in virtually all the Local Government Areas in the country.
This followed a public hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND on the Bill for an Act to amend the National Open University Act, No 6 of 1983, to provide for the inclusion of ICT as another means of providing tuition in the National Open University of Nigeria throughout the Country.
In his submission, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Proff Abdallah Uba Adamu, urged the senate to amend the act to incorporate requirements that must be met by would be community -study -center hosts, including undertaking the responsibility of providing 80 percent of infrastructure as well as structural materials required for the establishment of such centers.
Other areas which need to be considered for amendment as disclosed at the public hearing, deals with the issue of admission into the University, a situation which according to Prof Adamu, has been a source of standing controversy between NOUN and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
While the University Authority is equally demanding a change of name from National Open University to National Open University of Nigeria as part measure to adequately redefine its status and give the institution a proper identity, it revealed that the inclusion of such concepts as ‘correspondence and part-time’ gives the impression that NOUN is not a full university but a temporary measure.
Adamu argued that “for the fact that the law gives room for the establishment of study centers which allows for interactions between the school and the students, it cannot be termed part time.
Stressing that provisions of the Act which call for amendment when addressed and passed by the National Assembly including the establishment of more community study centers will further legitimize academic programs of the National Open University which has already established about 78 study centers and has received over five thousand (5000) requests for the establishment of community study centers.
Dr Olamide Esther Adesuwa, Director, Open Distance Education in the National University Commission (NUC) also collaborated Professor Adamu’s position, insisting that the National Open University is not part- time but a flexible means of learning. She however attributed part of the problems NOUN’s problems to what she described as the ‘’success recorded by the university which is now being considered as an alternative for the conventional tertiary institutions by students”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND, Senator Jibril Barau , has reaffirmed Senate’s commitment to uplifting the standard of NOUN through necessary legislations to enable it compete favorably and at par with similar universities in the world. “We will create an enabling environment to make it the best in the world,” Barau assured.
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