The Senate on Thursday passed an amendment to the law establishing the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
The amendment is aimed to grant graduates of the institution the eligibility for the compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) observed by graduates of the country’s universities and polytechnics and also to attend the Nigerian Law School, The Punch reports.
The passage followed the adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund on the ‘Bill for An Act to Amend the National Open University Act Cap N6 LFN 1983 (Amendment) Bill 2017’ by the lawmakers at the plenary today.
The National Open University of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (SB. 66) is read the third time and passed.
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) July 6, 2017
In the report, the Senate panel stated that the amendment to the National Open University of Nigeria Act was to bring the institution at par with the regular universities in the country.
The report said, “The objectives of the bill are as follows: firstly, to amend the existing legislation with a view to removing the perception of the public about the university in respect of the word ‘correspondence,’ which gives the impression that the university is not a full-time university and, as such, seen as part-time.
“These two concepts – correspondence and part-time – significantly affect the way the public views the programs run by the university. This has been the reason why the Law graduates of the school are not admitted into the Nigerian Law School as well as the reason for the non-inclusion of the graduates of the university into the National Youth Service Corps scheme.
“Secondly, to include lnformation and Communication Technology as another means of providing tuition towards the advancement of learning throughout Nigeria. The National Open University, as currently run, depends critically on virtual learning and students’ individual research, hence, the need for improvement and introduction of helpful learning tools as presented by lCT. This will further deal with the challenge of limited access in the tertiary education sector.”
For some time now, there had been agitations among graduates of the institution after the National Council on Legal Education had kept them at bay from attending the Nigerian Law School until now, while they are also not entitled to serve.