The Vox Populi Foundation International, an independent rights advocacy and educationally inclined Non Governmental Organization has revealed that the high quality of education being delivered by the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN  may be jeopardized  if unions are allowed to be introduced into the system.
According to the report compiled after gathering the opinions of students of the institution from the  36 states of the federation  showed the students raising their objections to the formation of union in the school, saying agitation by union members often leads to strike which will impede on smooth running of the institution.

The Management of the institution has been at loggerheads with students and staff over the the ban placed on union activities.

A student, Yahaya Suleiman said he supports the management decisions because he would not want the university to be dragged into what his colleagues in conventional higher institutions have to grapple with often in the course of running their programme.

He said, “Contrary to the proliferation of students and staff in conventional universities where the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non-academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), state chapters of students association and local government and villages of students associations are part of university education.
“NOUN is an open university where mature Nigerians who are engaged in daily jobs are admitted to learn and may not have time for associations “he said

Another student, Emmanuel Ajayi  who studies Security Studies at the Illorin Study Centre, said, “This has made the institution to be unaffected by strikes such as the last ASUU strike which lasted for eight months that crippled academic activities in most public owned universities.”

It would be recalled that at the 14th matriculation of the school, the vice-chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Prof Vincent Tenebe has said “the formation of students and staff unions and associations are not permitted in NOUN. This is due to the diverge nature of our students and staff in terms of age, class, status, professional callings as well as belonging to many existing unions and associations.”

Another reason adduced for the restriction is for speedy growth; more so, the Act which established the university prohibits any form of union either among staff or students.
“NOUN students have always and will continue to be immune to any form of strike,” reiterated the NOUN boss.

Meanwhile, some staff at the Wuse 2 study centre also objected to union activities, saying capable of destroying the achievements recorded so far by the present administration in terms of speedy completion of studies as at when due, innovations in ICT, expansion on courses accreditation and some other achievements of the present VC.
They accused their colleagues and some students of trying to use the guise of unionism to bully and blackmail the VC.

Alechenu Awodi, a Psychology Student at the Otukpo Study Centre in Benue State while speaking in support of the ban equally want some genuine improvements like distribution of course materials at the point of registration.

For Maryann Obi, an English Language student at the Enugu Study Centre said she was excited about the news that she would participate in the forth coming NYSC programme which is the joy of every University graduate in Nigeria.


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