How COVID-19 impacted on the Open University

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How COVID-19 impacted on the Open University

Postby Jed » Sun Sep 05, 2021 3:00 pm

How COVID-19 impacted on the Open University

Sir: As the largest university in West Africa, dedicated to the delivery of Open and Distance Learning, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is a melting pot for diverse population of learners, educational facilitators and competencies in blended learning. Indeed, by far, compared to the number of convocations over time, NOUN has produced more graduates than any other university in Nigeria.

This awareness and acknowledgement was all the incentive needed to propel the decision to, within three months of my assumption of office, establish the Directorate of Advancement and Linkages with a seasoned administrator at its helm. I am proud to say that though it’s a new directorate, it had functioned as if it was established over a long time. Thanks to the leadership of the directorate. Its contributions had enabled us for the first time agreeing to host this conference in our university.

An Alumni relations office is amongst other responsibilities saddled with the organisation of events and programmes. Specifically, their primary responsibilities are to handle the promotion of special events through societal impact, whilst ensuring dedicated oversight for execution. This is what I believe we are doing today. I am glad that NOUN through the directorate is hosting this important activity.

As you know, the National Open University of Nigeria is a different university in our country and indeed in other climes where they are similarly established. This difference, arising principally from its mode of learning instruction to students is amplified by lack of proper understanding of the rigor involved at both the student level and the management of learning activities. It has inadvertently attracted some misconceptions about the university and our products. But thanks, though sadly, to COVID-19 pandemic, our instruments of teaching have become the inevitable mode of operation of all knowledge-based activities across the world. We hope it will change the narratives sooner or later.

For those of us that have taken the challenge of managing this university, we know, because we are products of other mode of teaching, that a student that passes through our curriculum is worthy of its acclaimed academic degree.

Prof. Olufemi Peters is Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria. He made this speech (excerpts only) when he hosted the Association of Nigerian Universities Alumnion a three-day workshop at the university’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja from Wednesday 25 to Friday August 27, 2021.

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