Thursday, January 15, 2015 6:02 pm
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Thursday said that 7,000 graduates, including three prisoners, would be awarded degrees and diplomas at its 4th convocation on Jan. 17.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, made this known at a media briefing in Lagos.
Tenebe said that two of the graduating prisoners were from Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos, while the other was from Enugu Prisons.
He explained that the institution extended education to the prisons because it was a critical tool in the reformation process.
He said that the prisoners were Nigerians, and that it was proper to extend the opportunity of being educated to them to ensure that they led better lives.
“’We are happy that we are playing our role as an institution in the area of giving quality education to Nigerians, no matter the barriers.
“It is a way of empowering them and making them to realise that good things can really come out from them, and that they can contribute their quota to national development.
“Before certifying them fit to hold our certificates, we found out that they are now found worthy not only in learning but also in character, and that given necessary support, they too can contribute to national development and growth,’’ he said.
Tenebe, however, said that the institution would continue to urge the Federal Government to grant amnesty to prisoners, who had successfully completed their programmes in the institution.
“The only thing we can do for now is to continue to appeal to the government to grant amnesty to this category of people, because we feel they must have realised the benefits of freedom.
“Be that as it may, with the education they have acquired so far, any time they regain their freedom, they will be able to contribute meaningfully to the development of Nigeria,’’ he said.
He said that the university would continue to work hard to ensure that all its programmes were sustained.
The vice-chancellor lauded government’s efforts in ensuring that the institution got the necessary support needed to operate efficiently.
He, however, appealed for increased funding for the university.
Tenebe expressed displeasure that Law graduates from the university were disallowed from attending the Law School on the grounds that the institution ran on part-time.
He rated the school as one of the best in the country, insisting that no programme was run on part-time basis.
Tenebe announced that the immediate past Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and Dr Stella Adadevoh, who died while tackling the Ebola Virus Disease, would receive a post-humous award at the convocation.