COORDINATOR, North-East zonal centres of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Dr Adam Saleh has assured matriculating students that a new printing press is being built in the main campus of the university in Abuja to take care of shortage of study materials.
Addressing newsmen last Saturday at the 17th matriculation ceremony, which took place at the Baga road Maiduguri study centre of NOUN, Dr Saleh who is also the librarian of the institution commended the vice chancellor, Professor Abdalla Adamu for ensuring that the academic problems of the students was ameliorated by the new printing press.
He regretted that many times, students had to study under stress without the prescribed text books because they relied on outside printers, who could not cope with their demands, but as from next session things would be different.
“With the coming of the printing press, we will have enough materials for our students from undergraduate to post graduate level. We intend to use the opportunity of our brand new printing press to service other institutions outside who would be interested in using our facilities for commercial purposes,” he added.
According to Dr Saleh who also represented the Vice Chancellor at the matriculation ceremony, it was exciting that the centre was witnessing its first matriculation in the last 17 years, after the repackaged Open and Distant Learning (ODL) scheme was approved.
Saleh said that this year’s matriculation coincided with a tremendous increase in the number of students, who applied for various courses in the Maiduguri campus, unlike the previous years, when insurgency was choking the entire state.
He said that there was a master plan to further increase the number of intakes in the institution between now and 2021, when it was hoped that the lingering insurgency would have ended and students could come from different parts of the state.
Dr Saleh noted he was however happy that no centre in the North-East had up to the latest admission figures of Borno State, which had over a 1000 students registered students already, in spite of the crisis.
He added that the management was doing all it could to ensure that they were comfortable, while studying in the Maiduguri centre and the entire North-East terrain of Nigeria.
On skills acquisition, he noted that “Maiduguri is now a zonal entrepreneurial centre, starting from January this year. We do hope that as soon as all our equipment is on ground, for technical skills such as Plaster of Paris, masonry, welding, knitting and sewing we should be ready to train any young person, who is willing to learn new skills to make money for him\herself.”
He hinted that the management was find-tuning plans to involve well-meaning partners like the World Bank to strengthen the skills acquisition programme, which was part of the plan from the outset by the NOUN.
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