Chris Steven, Abuja
The Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Is-haq Oloyede on Friday chided the Council for Legal Education ( CLE) and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other federal government agencies for rejecting graduates of National Open University of Nigeria(NOUN).
Professor Oloyede who spoke in Abuja at the 6th pre-convocation lecture of NOUN said that the Open University like CLE, NYSC and other agencies of government who have continued to turn down its graduates is a creation of the law.
According to him, output of education in the National Open University is regulated and evaluated and standardised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) unlike what it is in other places.
It would be recalled that law graduates from Open University have not been able to go to the Law School for the mandatory one year post graduate study following stand by the Council for Legal Education that the Open University is a part time programme just as other graduates have also not been mobilised for the compulsory NYSC scheme.
The JAMB Registrar who waa the Chairman of the lecture maintained that the Open University was created by the National Assembly to take education to the less privileged adding that those who did not respect its existence should take their protest to the National Assembly.
His words: How to take education to the poor, how not to imprison knowledge is distance learning. Therefore, just being distance, education, whatever name they call it if it does not create access, if it does not address the issue of equity it is nothing but a mockery of open education.
Again, I want to say that for me, open education is addressing the status quo that says only the elite could have access to quality education. If I have my way, this university should be Open University of Nigeria rather than the National Open University of Nigeria because you cannot have a local open university.
The special features of NOUN is that it is not often didactic because we have study centers, we have full time professors , academics, laboratories and the fact that they are not casualising labour as most other distance learning centers do. The Open University of Nigeria is organised in such a way that open university education, the setbacks and disabilities of others.
Open university in Nigeria is a substitute for university education. It is not the type because in Nigeria when you mention a term, you need to define what you mean. When someone says I’m living in a duplex, in Nigeria we know what he means, duplex in Nigeria must be a storey building but in America a duplex means two buildings of the same type attached together .
Output of education in the National Open University is regulated and evaluated and standardised by the NUC unlike what it is in other places where you have mooks . National Open University of employs mooks as a social service to the community not as the core of its business. Therefore, it has an almagamation of processes and that’s why I call on all institutions of Federal Government to respect the law.
Institute of Legal Education is a creation of the law, the National Youth Service Corps is a creation of the law and therefore, National Open University of Nigeria is a created by the law. If we decide to be lawless, there would be anarchy. If anybody disagrees with a law, the best place to go is the National Assembly, not to take laws into his own hands .
And I therefore call on agencies of government to be law keepers rather than law breakers .”