NOUN STUDENTS DO NOT PAY FOR TEXTBOOKS/COURSE MATERIALS! Please kindly permit me to draw your attention to a publication in The Punch (N...

Please kindly permit me to draw your attention to a publication in The Punch (Newspaper) on-line on Thursday 27 March 2014 on the above subject matter.
Engineer Alex Chukuma, 31, Commercial Road, Apapa, Lagos, had alleged that every semester, (NOUN) students are compelled to pay huge amount of money for text books. Yet these books are never supplied but are sold by individuals.
A similar complain had earlier been made in the NEWS 24 Nigeria on 1 November 2013, titled “On – going scan at the National Open University of Nigeria” There, it was alleged that almost (please kindly hold your breath!) N280 MILLION is defrauded every semester from students in Lagos Study Centre alone. The writer therefore called on President Goodluck Jonathan to look into the matter. Meanwhile, a business organisation, KADUNA SOUTH, advertised in the internet on 1 March, 2014 for the sale of the non-available course materials for just N1, 000 per copy (any course).
One Mr. Gbenga Olufemi, of NOUN Headquarter, Lagos (whose official designation was not stated) replied the allegation. Please kindly permit me to quote him verbatim.
“For the record, students of National Open University of Nigeria do NOT pay for textbooks/course materials. They only pay for REGISTRATION OF COURSES (capitals mine this time).
Students have the option of accessing these study materials through the internet or other electronic formats made available by the university.
………it is either Chukuma…….is displaying crass ignorance or is downright mischievous by maligning the university. He is therefore urged to retrace his footsteps and stop this campaign of calumny against the university…….” The penalty for failure to comply was not disclosed.
It is quite unfortunate that the official designation of Mr. Gbenga Olufemi was not disclosed for one to know the capacity or on whose authority (quo warranto as lawyers would put it) the statement was made.
I guess that Mr. Gbenga Olufemi must be a high ranking officer of the university. I also guess that he must have stated the official position. If so, I advise him to read NOUN face book for him to know whether it is really true that “course materials are given to them (students)”. If his assertion is true, there will be no need for the endless complains on this issue almost on daily basis across all the study centres. The university has the responsibility of explaining to its students that they have actually not paid for any course material. Anyone given must have been lucky, otherwise, (s)he should access them on the internet or through other forum made available by the university.
But is it really true that students only pay for registration and not for course materials as being canvassed by Mr. Gbenga Olufemi?
The schedule of the breakdown of the school fees payable (available in the university’s site) in the current semester (First semester, 2013/2014) indicates that registration fee of N2, 500 is payable by every student. In addition to this, the cost of course materials is always pasted on the notice boards in the study centres. Payment for such course materials is compulsory as registration of courses is not possible without it.
Please kindly permit me to draw the attention of Mr. Gbenga Olufemi to two typical postings in the “E- Wallet Transactions” of a typical student.
1. Course material – Paid. The course code is indicated. The cost is usually between N2, 000 and N3, 000. Is the payment for course material or course registration? The general public needs more education on it.
2. Registration fee – Paid. It is N2, 500 per student. What, if I may ask, is this registration fee for having been informed that the first payment is not for course materials but for registration? Will this not amount to double payment?
One lesson I have learnt from the present exercise is that students should learn to make their complains in national newspapers instead of the face book for prompt reply.
Like I had earlier canvassed in this forum, most of the students are not happy with the present arrangement where millions of naira is compulsorily collected from students every semester for course materials that may not be supplied. NOUN should not wait till The Presidency, The Senate, EFCC, or ICPC intervenes in the matter. NOUN presently has the issue of its deserving graduates not participating in the national service and its law graduates not being admitted into the Nigerian Law School to content with. It should not allow the course material issue to escalate beyond its control and cast doubt on the integrity of the university.
I will like to end this piece by asking NOUN students the following questions:
(i) Is it really true that you do not pay for course materials?
(ii) Is it really true that the course materials are supplied to you?
(iii) Do you really prefer the option of accessing the course materials in the internet to being given, having ‘paid’ for them?
You may wish to express your views in the national dailies instead of through this forum for quick response from the appropriate authorities.

Babasanni Sanni



Examination Matters,12,General Matters,46,Students Social Matters,21,Study Centre Matters,16,TMA Matters,2,
National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Abeokuta Study Centre, Ogun State.: NOUN STUDENTS DO NOT PAY FOR TEXTBOOKS/COURSE MATERIALS! - Babasanni Sanni
National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Abeokuta Study Centre, Ogun State.
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