The Vice Chancellor of National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, has explained that academic staff of the university were not part of the ongoing strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU because of the university’s structure.
Prof. Peters also said students of the school have special motivation to read and study,a development he said, made the university discourage its staff from joining the national strike.
This even as he said they “have every reason to have unions among themselves.”
The NOUN Vice Chancellor, who spoke, Tuesday, at a media briefing ahead of the school’s 11th Convocation ceremony billed for Saturday, further explained that, unlike the conventional universities, his institution cannot embark on strike, attributing it to its structure.
“In regard to ASUU agitations, yes, we do have agitations, that is normal in any human association but these universities do not accept that for the fact that our students are different from conventional universities,” he said.
Prof. Peters added:“Our students have special motivation to read and study because of that we discourage our staff from joining the national strike but they have every reason to have unions among themselves but we have restricted that because our students are not students who are different.”
On why graduates of the school had not been mobilised for the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, he explained that the management was in talk with the management of the scheme on the issue.
He disclosed that 25 inmates of the Nigerian Correctional Services,NCOs, and 22, 250 other students would graduate from the National Open University of Nigeria on Saturday.
“We are going to graduate 22, 250 students. This is wonderful. I don’t think there is any university that has this large turnout of people who are judged to be worthy in both learning and character,” he said.
Speaking further, Prof. Olufemi Peters said,“We have 25 inmates, one graduating in MSc and the remaining twenty four as undergraduate. All these are sponsored free by the university as our own contribution to social equality.”
“The University is providing equity that we so desire in any egalitarian society. The equality is there because you have access to everybody.
“By taking education to the Correctional centres, what we are doing is providing a future for those people who perhaps thought they were not going to have that opportunity,”he explained.
Peters,who also said over 1, 500 graduates of NOUN have enrolled into the Nigerian Law School, added that products of the university were doing well at the Law School.
Açcording to him, all the institution’s programmes, including the law programme have been fully accredited by National Universities Commission,NUC.
“We have about 1500 students who are graduates of our institution currently in the law school. We have about the same numbers that are yet to be enrolled in the law school.
“The reason why I said it is a special relationship is that you recall that we had a slightly wonderful relationship with them because they were not sure about the kind of graduates we were producing and the idea now is let us try them first.
“So they are trying us now and they found out to be extremely competent in terms of the people they have produced of good quality. So we are waiting until after this batch has finished, most likely this year then the next batch will come,”he further said.
A breakdown of the figures showed that 69 would be awarded with First Class degree, 4, 337 Second Class, about 9, 499 Second Class Lower and 2, 700 students with Third Class.