By Winifred Ogbebo,
The centre director, Port Harcourt Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Dr Gabriel Chibuzor Job, has charged heads of federal establishments in Rivers State, to take advantage of the flexible nature of NOUN’s mode of education delivery to improve themselves and to encourage their colleagues and personnel to key into the lifelong learning opportunity offered by the institution.
Job made the charge on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the monthly meeting of the Association of Heads of Federal Establishments (AHFE), Rivers State, held at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Port Harcourt.
It was NOUN’s day at the monthly meeting, which holds every third Tuesday of the month. Job, who led a delegation of senior staff of his centre to host the meeting, explained in his interest-provoking presentation entitled, “NOUN At A Glance.”
He said that NOUN does not restrict its admission to working adults only, although that may have been the primal intention behind its establishment by the federal government at inception.
Job said that over time, the frustration meted on teeming young admission seekers by the inadequate carrying capacity of conventional universities in the country has made young people to turn to NOUN for their educational needs, and at present, the university has more young school leavers than working adults in its enrollment.
“If you come to my centre, you will see students as young as 16 years old and adults as old as 70. NOUN admits learners of all ages,” he said.
It was an easy ride to victory for the premier Open and Distance Learning (ODL) university in West Africa, when two of its alumni who were delegates at the meeting hijacked the question and answer session and turned it into a testimonial session in which they eulogized the benefits of learning at NOUN. They trumpeted their gains in studying at the university and how that had translated to their elevation and career advancement.
The testimonies of the two alumni attracted a reverberated applause, especially as they emanated from AHFE members, who were not part of NOUN delegation to the event; and put wind into the sails of Dr. Job’s advocacy efforts. Consequently, numerous delegates converged around the NOUN delegation collecting telephone numbers and direction to the study centre.