The National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Saturday, matriculated 15,000 of its newly admitted students. But the matriculation ceremony was held online following the lockdown arising from the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
Addressing the new students during the university’s 19th matriculation ceremony, Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, enjoined them to rise to the challenges of the modern world in their quest for knowledge, including eradicating future diseases like the current Covid-19.
In a welcome address to the over 15,000 new students, which he read over the Zoom application to which many of the students logged on from all over the country, Adamu urged them to see any challenge they encounter in the course of their studies as a building block. “One block at a time, and you will erect a mansion,” he said, adding, “You are in the best position to do this because your learning is powered by your personal desire to learn.”
The vice-chancellor noted that while many students enter higher institutions in order to become educated so that they can get jobs, the matriculating students at NOUN already have jobs and occupations. Adamu said because technology has become a commodity, NOUN has optimised its online facilitation exercise such that students can easily interact directly with their lecturers.
He pointed out that the university was the only one having a Directorate of Learning Content Management System (CLMS) which in due course could become a full-fledge online university. He added that all the academic programmes of the university are fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in order to ensure their integrity He said: “Our programmes, quality assurance and delivery mechanisms are therefore more solid than those of many conventional universities who keep coming to us to see how we work this technological magic.”
Adamu informed the new intake of students that this was his last matriculation address at NOUN, his tenure of five years having to end in February 2021. “I want to meet you in the next four years, during your graduation, not as Vice-Chancellor, full of knowledge and ready to take on the world as a result of your studentship in NOUN, and proudly watch you graduate with flying colours as simply the best of the best,” he said.
The matriculation oath was administered online on the students by the Registrar of the university, Mr. Felix I. Edoka. It ended with joyful banter exchanged between the vice-chancellor and some of the students, who joined from remote locations as the event was beamed live on the social media and NOUN platforms.
Shorn of the pomp and pageantry usually associated with such an exercise, the event was conducted online because of the Covid-19 pandemic which forced the federal government to shut down all schools in the country since March, 2020.
NOUN is the only single-mode open and distance learning university in Nigeria and the largest in West Africa with 580,000 enrolled students spread in 78 study centres across Nigeria.