Interview: NOUN VC Speaks to Daily Times

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Interview: NOUN VC Speaks to Daily Times

Postby admin » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:50 am

Latest Interview: NOUN VC with Daily Times

Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu is the Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). In this interview, he highlights obstacles to education in the North, the advantages of studying in the university, how he successfully relocated it to the permanent site three weeks after being appointed, and other issues. Excerpts:

Daily Trust: What is the current student population in NOUN?

Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu: As I talk to you, we have 536, 000 students in the university. But you know, we have two types of students, we have enrolled and active students, and for now we have 105, 000 active students.

DT: What’s the actual difference between enrolled and active students?

Adamu: In the first place, you need to understand that unlike other universities, students that want to get admission into NOUN have no business whatsoever with JAMB or Post-UME examination. What we only need here is six credits in your O’ Level result which must include English Language and Mathematics. Coming back to your question, what I mean by enrolled students is that for instance, let’s say, a Keke Napep rider saves money to buy a form and gets admitted into NOUN, and as time goes on, things change and life becomes very difficult for him to manage. He then decides not to continue with the studies. He can come here and inform us that this is want he wants to do. We will take that notice and would be expecting him to come back and continue in the next eight years. If after the eight years he is not able to come back and continue, we will refund his money and tell him to go and invest it in some other business. So, this type of registered student is referred to as an enrolled student. Active students are simply those students that register and are taking their exams, and also part of the enrolled students who now decide to come and take their exams. Let’s say the Keke Napep rider who couldn’t continue decides to come back after some years if his life improves and takes the exams.

DT: What’s the level of course accreditation in the university?

Adamu: As a matter of fact, all our courses have been accredited by the council. And while in the university, if you are taking let’s say, 12 courses in a semester, you have the right to choose a number of courses out of the 12 that you think you can study successfully, and leave the remaining courses till the next semester without any additional charges and it isn’t treated as carry over at all.

DT: Do you agree with the perception that many people especially in the North are not aware of NOUN?

Adamu: No, I disagree with that, because we have made a lot of jingles in the media. We also called some popular artistes and made them ambassadors of NOUN. But you see, it’s is all about the personal desire to study. I am saying this because we even have prisoners who are our active students, we have about 500 of them who are now studying from various prison learning centres. Now, when we look at the statistics of our active students, which we did it according to the six geopolitical zones, and what we have is amazing. North Eastern states came first but from the bottom. They have 3, 700 active students followed by the North West with 6, 400 active students. Now, if you add these figures from both North East and North West which comprise about 12 states, you will have 10, 100 active students. But if you go to the South West alone, they have 37, 000 active students, which means the region alone has three times what the two regions have.

DT: So, what are the challenges in the entire North?

Adamu: There are so many reasons behind it, first, there are some courses that are mainly considered for northerners, for example, Islamic Studies, Hausa Language, Arabic Language, etc, and some of these courses are still not here. Secondly, initially, this school was in Lagos and our people don’t know much about it. But three weeks after I took over as VC on March 1, 2016, I ordered everybody to move up here to our permanent site in Abuja, and that is why we are here today. Thirdly, our leaders in the North don’t even care if the masses go to school, as far as their children are in Malaysia and other countries eating pizza. They don’t care about other people’s children. Though there are a few of them who are ever ready to assist, for example in Kano, Mustapha Dawaki has sponsored a NOUN study centre in Dawaki, Hon. Kawu Sumaila did the same in Sumaila and Hon. Suleiman Aminu Goro also sponsored another two in Fagge and Kwaciri. Senator Barau Jibrin also upgraded his computer centre to a NOUN learning centre. The last one is in Katsina State where Governor Masari with his personal money turned his farm into a learning centre.

DT: Do have any message, especially for the northern elite?

Adamu: No, I rather prefer to challenge them, knowing that they don’t want children from poor families to go school. Because if they go to school they would become educated and no one would worship them, and there would be no political thugs around them. If there is any politician who is not happy with what I have said, I am challenging him now. If truly you want to encourage our teaming unemployed youth to go to school, then if you are a member of a state House of Assembly you should sponsor at least 20 students from your constituency and if you are in the National Assembly you should sponsor at least 40 students from your constituency, so also if you are a senator you should sponsor at least 60 students to come and study in the NOUN.

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Re: Interview: NOUN VC Speaks to Daily Times

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