NOUN Partners UNESCO On Lifelong Learning Opportunities
In a bid to ensure equitable, inclusive and quality education, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), is partnering the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), to explore and promote lifelong learning opportunities.
The school is also set to train over 800 artisans in Kaduna State, in a project that will be executed in partnership with the World Bank, the state government, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the Housing Developers Institute.
UNESCO’s Senior Programme Specialist, Institute of Lifelong Learning, Mr. Hassan Keenan, who made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to the school, said the institution now ranks tops among Nigerian schools, in view of its outreach, student population, as well as, inclination towards exploring the opportunities in lifelong learning and entrepreneurship programmes.
Keenan described the school as an institution with a huge repertoire of assets, capabilities, and network that could play a critical role in moving the literacy agenda forward, adding that UNESCO was pleased to leverage on these unique key indicators to activate a robust partnership.
He cited the alarming number of illiterate youths and adults in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda as reasons for focusing on higher education, as some of these countries, have well established higher education systems.
Vice chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, commended UNESCO for partnering the school to identify and address the key areas of adult literacy in sub-Saharan countries.
Adamu, who said that NOUN is the largest university in West Africa with the highest population, wide outreach and enhanced access; with a total of 78 study centres spread across the country, and still receiving requests from community leaders for establishment of more study centres, stated that NOUN has the wherewithal for the partnership, in terms of demography, and unlike other conventional institutions in the country, NOUN is not confined.
Director of NOUN’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and Lifelong Learning (CESLL), Prof. Grace Joktan, who spoke at a meeting between the institution and the partners on the training of the 800 artisans, disclosed that the training, which involves eight different trades, would be done in batches, and would be certified after practicals and examinations were conducted.
She said: “This hands-on skill training is practical-oriented and will require some level of certification, after a successful examination is carried out at the expiration of the programme.
“Already, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, has approved for the institution to conduct the training by the provision of a secretariat to be managed by an assistant registrar, developed a curriculum for the programme and provided all logistics required for the smooth operation of the training.”
She added that the training, at the request of the state government, is for the provision of skills to male and female artisans, and would, for a start, be targeted at four local government areas.
Joktan added: “This training is also in line with the philosophy of the vice chancellor in targeting the women folk as beneficiaries of the programme through the provision of incentives to attract women enrolment and participation.”
Speaking also at the meeting, the representatives of the World Bank, Ms. Johanne Buba and Mr. Andrew Gartside, expressed appreciation with the level of commitment of both the state government and NOUN towards the provision of entrepreneurial skills to artisans in the state.