…directs Federal Ministry of Education on modalities for NYSC

The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria and Visitor to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has disclosed that he has directed the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), to formulate the necessary modalities for the inclusion of NOUN graduates within the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) framework, particularly those within the service age bracket as allowed by the law.

“With the changing demographics of our great nation the government has recognised the importance of allowing NOUN graduates to participate in the NYSC scheme,” he said.

The President gave the directive in his speech at the 13th Convocation Ceremony of the university on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the university’s convocation arena, university headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.

Represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr. Biodun Saliu,, president Tinubu also disclosed the positive resolution of the longstanding issue regarding the attendance of NOUN law graduates at the Law School.

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“The doors of the Law School are now open to the graduates, ensuring equal opportunities for all. Any remaining concerns or uncertainties should be promptly addressed by the Federal Ministry of Education,” he said.

The President said the gathering signified not only the academic achievement of the graduates but also underscored the pivotal role Open and Distance Education (ODL) plays in the nation’s educational landscape.

The visitor said his administration will continue to promote Open and Distance Learning (ODL) to improve access to higher education in the country, stressing that the deployment of the ODL is a key to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We will continue to do this in order to improve quality, access and affordability.

“Government is, therefore, committed through the Federal Ministry of Education and the NUC to provide the enabling environment to ensure a good delivery of this mode of education in Nigeria,” Tinubu added.

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While expressing his enthusiasm with the fact that the university, which was initially conceived as a means of providing education for the working class, has evolved through persistence and focus, and has now emerged to be providing education access for the teeming youth population.

The president stated that he was not unaware that a large number of school leavers are unable to secure admissions into conventional universities, as a result there was need for research efforts in technology to be enhanced for NOUN to increase its admission of young school leavers, and enhance improved social safety nets of the people.

According to the president, he was elated that NOUN has become the main pivot driving government’s resolve in the attainment of those learning deliverables through ICT and the timelines in the next six months, NOUN will begin to provide access to government functionaries to be admitted into the various ICT programmes most especially the postgraduate programmes in ACETEL.

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He encouraged NOUN to admit qualified government functionaries into postgraduate programmes offered by the Centre of Excellence, as government is embarking on a transformative journey with the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI), in all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, to enhance decision-making processes and efficiency in government operations.

Tinubu also tasked the World Bank-sponsored Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), hosted by NOUN, to engage in research outcome that will enhance the use of ICT tools for improved learning in Nigeria.