President Buhari and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) gas agreed to grant university education completely free to all prison inmates across the country, if they are interested.
In a statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity of NOUN, Ibrahim Sheme, said the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, announced the largess given to prison inmates. It is first of its kind in the country.
According to Ibrahim, “Having suffered abandonment by relatives, emotional and physical confinement, prison inmates will see such gesture from NOUN as a measure to reduce their burden.
“It will also provide a platform for them to improve their skills and make themselves better citizens. NOUN, being a single-mode institution, is charged with the responsibility of adding lifelong values to those yearning for quality education.
“It also seeks to explore the option of taking education to young girls, who for cultural reasons, cannot access education.
“This is important in view of global threat to peace, cultural performances, exchange programs for staff and students of these universities. It is equally for Public Private Partnership approach to solve problems of mutual interests,’’ Adamu said.
The statement also said, NOUN will soon be available to Nigerians living in Diaspora. The Diasporan program will run using online learning and teaching platforms.
The National Open University of Nigeria is a Federal Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution, the first of its kind in the West African sub-region. It is Nigeria’s largest tertiary institution in terms of student numbers.
The National Open University was initially established on 22 July 1983 as springboard for open and distance learning in Nigeria. It was suspended by Buhari’s government on 25 April 1984. However, its resuscitation was begun on the 12th of April 2001 by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. At takeoff of the university, pioneer student enrollment stood at 32,400.
It comes as good news as the Buhari administration strengthens its resolve to promote education for one and all.