Prof. Vincent Tenebe, Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has advised students of the institution to be diligent to be able to graduate at the proper time.
Tenebe gave the advice against the backdrop of allegations by some students that the institution’s ineptitude and insensitivity were responsible for their inability to graduate at the university’s recent convocation ceremony in which 4,308 students graduated.
However, the vice chancellor dismissed the claim, and said that the institution was in the vanguard to ensure that every Nigerian was equipped with sound and qualitative education.
“I want to state that the primary mandate of this institution is to give access to quality education to many Nigerians who yearn for it and in the most liberalised and democratic form.
“This institution will be doing students and the country at large a great disservice to delay the graduation of any student who has duly met the minimum requirement.
“I want to state that there is no truth in this claim. I strongly feel that they could not join others in graduating because they have problems in some of the courses. I think the claim is borne out of mischief and lack of commitment to their academic pursuit,” he said.
Tenebe said that, although NOUN admitted and graduated a large number of students, it would not compromise quality.
“We offer about 134 programmes with 997,770 course materials that are fully developed and uploaded on the institution’s Website for students’ use.
“What this portends, therefore, is for students to reciprocate by showing seriousness in their academic work. We are not going to graduate students who do not deserve it,” he said.
Some of the students, who were unable to graduate with the others on Jan. 18, accused the institution’s management of not providing course materials already paid for.
One of the students, who pleaded anonymity, said that the management was making learning cumbersome for students by not attending to their immediate needs.
“I enrolled in this institution since 2004 and have done everything possible to ensure that I pass all my courses so that I can graduate, but on getting to school in Lagos from Kaduna, I was told that I cannot graduate because some of my results are missing.
“I tried to complain to those in-charge but they keep directing me to meet one person or the other. I know how much efforts I made to meet up with all the criteria for convocation but, now, see the frustration I am facing.
“Most times you go to the sites that have been designated for the course materials but you will not see anything. You only borrow books from those who are fortunate to have. This whole arrangement is frustrating and I feel it is time for an overhaul of the entire system,’’ he said.