The Federal Government has given its nod to the plan by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to extend academic proficiency to other African regions.
The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah disclosed this when he met with the President and Board members of the African Council for Distant Education (ACDE).
Anwukah, who thanked the team for the visit and commended them for the progress made so far in ACDE, assured the visitors that the ministry would provide the necessary support towards NOUN’s out-reach to other African regions, as well as sending a representative to the forth-coming Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Assembly proposed to hold in Mozambique in May, 2018 Earlier, in his remarks, the President of ACDE, Prof. Abdelraouf Ahmed Abbas Elbadawi expressed gratitude to the ministry for taking a major decision to host the maiden African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (QAAA) in 2009 at the National Open University of Nigeria.
This he said had climaxed into the production of a toolkit made available in all main African languages.
On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Adamu described the institution as the best in all ramifications; even as he pointed out that it has the largest number of students drawn from African countries.
Adamu noted that NOUN has a leading role in academic excellence and has taken pains to offer excellent services to its students, saying: “It is only natural that the NOUN takes the lead in creating the African focus while solving African problems in an African context.”
The vice-chancellor further recalled that against all odds, a young woman from one of the Internally Displaced People’s (IDPs) camps in Adamawa State recently graduated with a First Class Honours from the university. He also informed the Minister of State for Education that NOUN has been involved in the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Assembly’s regional activities.
The visiting team included the Sudannese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Ibrahim Bushra Ali; Secretary, Academic Affairs, Open University of Sudan, Prof. Mohamed Abbo Emem; the Director African Council for Distance Education, Quality Assurance & Accreditation Agency, Prof. Nebath Tanglang and the ACDE Executive Director, Prof. Rotimi Ogidan.
UNILAG VC secures release of detained union leaders
- As varsity matriculates 9,204 students
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has secured the release of the detained former Chairmen of the institution’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU), Comrades Joseph Adefolalu and Adekola Adetomiwa, who were on Thursday arrested by the police.
The VC, accompanied by the leadership of the university’s chapter of the non-academic staff unions, visited the office of the Department of State Security (DSS) along CMD Road, Shangisha, to bail the union leaders, who were on Thursday transferred to the office from the Ikeja Division of the State Criminal Investigation Department.
Earlier, addressing the protesting workers in front of the institution’s Governing Council Chamber, Ogundipe expressed regret that the national strike had been allowed to degenerate to the level it is on the campus, saying even against the dictate of his office, he had gone on air to declare support for the striking workers.
The workers, who had assembled in their hundreds on the campus to protest the arrest of their leaders, accused the university management of harassing them since December 4, 2017, when the national strike was declared.
But, the union members did not disrupt the ongoing matriculation ceremony of the new intakes, where a total of 9,204 fresh undergraduate and postgraduate students were successfully matriculated.
The management of the university had earlier met with the leadership of the unions including the Chairmen of the university’s chapters of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Comrade Sulaiman Lawal and Kehinde Ajibade, among others, to address the crisis.
The VC said; “Dialogue will always be the way out of every crisis because we would always have cause to interact again. There is no other university that has shown support to the striking unions better than UNILAG, yet we are the one that suffers more attack from you. I can assure you that once we leave here, we will go to the Police Station together and ensure that our workers are released.
“If anyone says I ordered the arrest, let me make it clear that I do not have such power but I must add that no one is above the law, including me. On this campus, 120 electrical fuses were removed from the powerhouse on Monday, January 8, and that does not speak well of the unions. We must always reach compromise on difficult issues. We have kept on appealing to the Federal Government to resolve this matter as soon as possible and I am sure very soon, it will be over.”
The meeting between the unions and the management was attended by the leadership of the Police in the area including the Area Commander.
The union leaders appreciated the university management for the middle ground reached and pledged their support in the efforts to reposition the university for good.
It would be recalled that both Adefolalu and Adekola had on Thursday morning at about 1.30am been arrested in their homes by the Police from the Ikeja Division of the State Criminal Investigation Department.
The unions had blamed the development on the ongoing national strike declared by the Joint Action Committee of the non-academic staff in the universities nationwide, alleging that the decision to arrest the leaders may be in anticipation of likely disruption of the matriculation ceremony, which held today (Friday).
Strike: UNILAG postpones convocation indefinitely
Following the refusal of the non-academic staff unions in the nation’s universities to call off their two-month-old industrial action, and the threats by the unions’ chapters at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, to disrupt the planned 50th convocation ceremonies scheduled to hold between February 19 and 22, the institution’s management has postponed the ceremonies indefinitely.
In a statement issued by the university and signed by the Principal Assistant Registrar (Information), Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, a new date would be announced for the ceremonies soon.
Though Oloyede did not give reasons for the abrupt postponement, New Telegraph learnt the striking workers comprising members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), had threatened to disrupt the convocation ceremonies over what they described as the neglect they suffer in the hands of government.
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