ARE NOUN CERTIFICATES RECOGNISED FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES? ARE NOUN STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR NYSC? Students, mostly youths (I am very sorr...
ARE NOUN CERTIFICATES RECOGNISED FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES? ARE NOUN STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR NYSC?
Students, mostly youths (I am very sorry to say), ask the above questions, an honest answers to which may shape their future.
If my answers to the above questions are in the affirmative, they will ask further questions. Mention any organisation that has employed any NOUN graduate anywhere in the country. Tell us the matriculation number of any NOUN graduate on NYSC and where (s)he is serving. In other word, they want evidence!
Please kindly permit me to start with the first question.
NOUN is a novel university and the Nigerian public is always skeptical of anything new. I have had cause to state on this forum that University of Ibadan used to be a College of University of London from 1948-1962. All its programmes, as expected, were British oriented. When University of Nigeria, Nssuka came on board in 1962 without being affiliated to any foreign university for tutelage (a novel idea), many felt that it was an experiment in error. Many people were skeptical of its certificates, more so as the university was not British oriented.
Universities of Jos and Ilorin used to be satellite campuses of University of Ibadan while University of Calabar was a satellite campus of University of Nigeria, Nsukka. When they were to become autonomous (Calabar in 1973; Jos in 1975 and Ilorin in 1977), many described them as “glorified secondary schools” whose certificates cannot gain international recognition. A classmate of mine (now a Professor of English Language), a pioneer student of Calabar almost rejected the admission offer!
Let us turn to Ekpoma. I was one of the early pioneer staff at Bendel State (now Ambrose Alli) University, Ekpoma in 1984. I remember vividly, just like yesterday, the fear being expressed by some students that their certificates might not gain acceptance compared with federal universities.
College of Education, Abraka, (now Delta State University), used to be affiliated to University of Benin. When the College was merged with Ekpoma in 1986, most students were worried that Ekpoma certificates would be inferior to those of Benin and that they would be discriminated against in the labour market. We can go on and on with other similar examples. All I have been trying to point out is that the Nigerian public is always skeptical of anything new. The fear currently being expressed by NOUN students is quite normal and expected but NOT REAL. For any university certificates to be recognised in the labour market, two conditions must be met. The university must be properly established and its programmes must be accredited by NUC. NOUN has met them. The students themselves have two important roles to play. Graduates of such university must distinguish themselves in the labour market and be proud of their university. Ask from those of us from GREAT IFE! We stand out tall and raise our heads high anywhere we find ourselves. We call it Ife culture, others call it pride but we don’t care!
The second question on the NYSC issue follows the first question. Both questions border on knowledge, opinion and belief.
In our daily life, it is easy for someone to say that he knows when he should say that he believes. On the other hand, he believes when he should say he knows. A philosopher, if you kindly permit me to remind you, says he knows when he possesses information that is beyond doubt. According to John Hospers, some requirements must be met in order for us to assert truly that one knows something:
(i) It must be true.
(ii) We must have evidence for it, that is, reason to believe it.
(iii) Not only must it be true, we must believe that it is true.
(iv) There must be no counter evidence.
According to him, there may be numerous statements you believe but do not know to be true, but there can be none, which you know to be true but do not believe.
What matters here is that knowledge implies being sure, being certain. Also, believing can be seen as a pre-condition for knowledge. Thus, you cannot say you know something which you are not sure of. But it is possible to believe something you are not sure of. You can believe in the existence of God, yet you are not sure of His existence. Knowledge is more qualitative than opinion and believe. An opinion or belief cannot be true unless it is grounded or supported with evidence. Experience has shown however, that there are people who do not believe anything no matter the amount of evidence to support a point. Yet there are some people who believe but doubt.
Below is all I know and believe concerning NOUN. It may assist you in forming an opinion and in taking appropriate decision(s).
NOUN is neither a STATE nor a PRIVATE university. It is a FEDERAL university established by an Act of the National Assembly. Thirty (30) out of its 31 (thirty- one) academic programmes have been fully accredited by NUC. Law is inclusive. The university has NUC mandate to offer post graduate programmes in certain courses up to PhD level. It is the 15th BEST University (out of 100) in Nigeria, according to the First Quarter 2013 Webmetric ranking of Nigerian universities. It outclassed conventional federal universities like Calabar (21), Uyo (27), Maiduguri (31) and Abuja (61). It also outclassed Federal specialized universities like FUTMINNA (24) and FUTOWERRI (25). The law students of the university emerged WINNERS in the 2013 NATIONAL YOUTH COURT COMPETITION involving law students from all Nigerian universities, University of Benin, the defending champion inclusive. What else do you want from a university?
The admission of NOUN students is currently being regularized with JAMB for the purpose of NYSC mobilization. Regularization is normally done for students who did not get admission through JAMB. This is not peculiar to NOUN alone.
I work with a Federal Government owned conventional higher institution. The same thing is being done for our students who were admitted through the part-time programme or “pre”. The idea was initiated by NYSC itself. Letters were written by the NYSC to all Corps Producing Institutions and meetings were held on the issue. We do hope that the students (in my place of work) will be mobilized for the NYSC at the earliest opportunity. Why should students from NOUN be an exception? The affected students in my place of work do not embarrass us the way NOUN students embarrass the general public on daily basis on the face book.
My advice to the youths is quite simple. You should not participate in anything you do not believe in. You should have believe in anything once you decide to participate in it. If you have any iota of doubt on the course you are pursuing in NOUN, you have an option: OPT OUT!
I did a similar thing in 2008 when I deliberately opted out of the M.Sc (Finance) programme I was pursuing in a first generation federal university for MPhil (Ife) (GREAT IFE!) because of the doubt I had on the M.Sc programme.
I opted out quietly without polluting the minds of other students or the general public. You may wish to follow my footstep if in doubt of your future with NOUN.
Have I spoken well?
***Article by BABA SANNI***
Thank you for reading.
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