LAGOS – The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), yesterday, said it had established not less than 400 centres in the out-going year for students undergoing different courses across the country.
Its Head of Media and Information, Dr Ronke Ogunmakin, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
Ogunmakin said the establishment of the centres was to fulfill the institution’s mandate of providing Open and Distance Learning (ODL) centres across the country.
She added that the centres were part of the institution’s responsibility of making higher education more accessible, flexible and qualitative to the growing Nigerian populace.
She noted that eight of the 400 centres were specialised ones that were basically tailored toward improving skills among the work force.
According to her, the newly inaugurated Dei-Dei Study Centre in Abuja is one of the centres and is to prepare and impact modern standard of practice for the police force in the country.
“We equally have a centre for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), also in Abuja.
“We do all these because we want to ensure capacity building for our work force and give them a platform to contribute meaningfully to national development.’’
The NOUN official said the university had also established several community centres across the country to ensure that those in the villages and the hinterlands were carried along.
Ogunmakin said that the university was looking forward to admitting more students from across the country in 2015 as more students were becoming aware of the benefits provided by the ODL mode of education.
She added that “our target is to reduce the level of illiteracy in the country to the barest minimum and build a country where every citizen will be able to contribute to national development.
“However, we are being careful so that we do not compromise on quality.
“We also know that funding will be a key factor for NOUN to be able to provide education to many Nigerians who yearn for knowledge.
“There is also the need for the Federal Government to assist it in this regard to be able to deliver well.
“As we yearn for expansion, we must strive to also match it with infrastructure, technological and manpower development,” she appealed.
Ogunmakin, however, urged public-spirited individuals, corporate bodies and other stakeholders to assist the institution.