ANSWERS TO STUDENTS’ QUESTIONS ON PART-TIME, DISTANCE LEARNING (DL) AND SANDWICH COURSES
I have got to cover this topic as detailed as I can. The education world is changing so rapidly that students are finding ways to easily, seamlessly and affordably go to schools. Questions after questions regard the adoption of part-time courses as alternatives to campuses gives me the urgency to write this post.
This post will cover the following areas among other things:
- JAMB UTME/DE and Part-time programmes
- Part-Time Programme in Polytechnics
- Regular Part-time Courses in Universities
- Distance Learning Programmes in Universities
- Sandwich programmes in universities
- Off-campus regular part-time programmes
- Part-time progremmes fees
- NYSC and Part-time graduates
- Part-time graduates and labour markets
Let’s look into these areas one after the other.
JAMB UTME/DE and Part-Time Courses
First and foremost, one easiest way to gain admission to universities, polytechnics or colleges of your choice without UTME or DE is through part-time courses.
These programmes are opened to solve the kinds of problems students are facing in passing UTME among other issues.
Hence, if you think you may have to wait years to win JAMB’s heart, you may want to consider earning your degree, NCE, ND or HND through part-time programmes.
Part-Time Programmes in Polytechnics
Before now, a majority of polytechnics ran regular part-time courses. By this I mean, a three-year course for students who are only available for learning during weekends.
Regular part-time is equally called weekend’s part-time programmes in some schools. Their students are mainly working-class who will only be available for continuing studies after their working days.
A few polytechnics are still running this 3-year programme by now.
At a later time, polytechnics introduced daily part-time programmes. This is a 2-year course meant to be conducted during the weekdays just like the full-time course. The only difference is timing in most cases. While full time runs from Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm (sometime to 8pm as work may demand), daily-part time classes are usually fixed for the evening (usually 4pm to 8pm). That’s why some call it evening part-time.
Schools well known for the programmes include The Polytechnic Ibadan, Federal Polytechnic Offa, Federal Polytechnic Ede, Osun State Polytechnic Iree, Osun State Polytechnic Esa Oke, Oke Ogun Polytechnic Saki to mention a few.
Regular Part-Time Courses in Universities
Well, no daily part-time programmes in universities (at least for now). Some schools just call it evening classes. This represents their daily part-time; just like their polytechnics counterparts. Only a few universities run this although.
Majorly, courses in universities are full time and regular part-time.
Regular part-time programmes are meant for working people. That’s why most universities set aside weekends to accommodate these continuing education students.
It should be noted that this course usually runs for 5 years instead of 4years in the case of full-time courses.
Also, schools limit the number of courses that can be attended on a part-time basis. Hence, you may not expect the likes of Medicine, Pharmacy, Law among courses to be endorsed for part-time programmes.
However, some schools may still have the right provisions even for practical-based courses like Nursing (e.g Obafemi Awolowo University).
You can apply for this course at universities like the University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ekiti State University, etc.
Distance Learning Programmes in Universities
These hot programmes are common among top tier universities like the University of Ibadan, Lagos State University, University of Benin etc.
It’s easy to mix the regular part-time programmes with distance learning. In fact, some schools use it interchangeably. However, distance learning programmes are usually conducted without expecting students to be present (not regularly) on campus.
Students are provided with study materials and study centre only. If wished, students can be at the study centre for classes and you may choose to study the available study materials while right in your bed.
This kind of settings is adopted by the University of Ibadan, National Open University of Nigeria etc
Though SSCE holders can apply for Distance learning programmes, they are more appropriate for postgraduate students and graduates of Bsc, NCE, ND or HND who wish to further their studies.
Unlike regular part-time, 100 level applicants may spend 5 years for the course (instead of 4 years in full time), NCE and ND applicants may spend 4 years, HND and BSC applicants may only spend 2 or 3 years.
Part-Time or Distance Learning Courses on the Internet
If you have come across adverts promoting universities running distance learning programmes on the internet, know that, they are not all fake. Some are really real.
It’s now very convenient for intending students to learn from the top leading world universities direct from the corners of their rooms. How possible, you ask?
Students can register for such courses online and be given study materials, attend virtual classes and real-time online classes. When it’s time for exams partake in the online tests. In some cases, such universities send representatives to conduct offline exams at specific exams centres around the world.
Sandwich Programmes in Universities
Primarily for those who had completed a programme at a university – Bsc, HND, ND or NCE (most appropriate) and wish to go for education studies.
SANDWICH programmes are generally weekend or school-holiday centered programmes. Students are expected to attend classes during the weekends or first-, second- or third-term breaks by intending teachers.
In other words, these programmes are perfect for the existing teachers who want to upgrade themselves. Other non-education courses are equally available, however.
Popular schools known for sandwich programmes include Lagos State University, University of Benin, Niger Delta University, University of Abuja, Adeyemi University/College of Education, University of Ilorin, Ekiti State University, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education etc.
Off-Campus Regular Part-Time Programmes
Around us today, like before, we have universities and colleges who are running part-time NCE courses within public or private secondary school premises. This is called an off-campus part-time course.
Intending applicants; holders of SSCE (even with major deficiencies) can be admitted – an opportunity they may not get for regular full-time programmes on the campuses.
After completing this course, you’re awarded the same NCE by the main university or college but under the off-campus (town) name.
Part-Time Programmes Fees
There is no way to say precisely what a school will charge students for her part-time course. The school fees can be a bit more exorbitant than regular full-time tuition. Governments usually subsidize for full-time tuition while part-time programmes are mainly administered by the management without such subsidy.
The only advantage, however, is that, payment can be more flexible whereby students are allowed to pay installmentally.
NYSC and Part-Time Graduates
If you wish to partake in the one-year national service, then part-time or distance learning programmes are not for you. Check the link below this section for the latest update.
NYSC (at present) has not endorsed any part-time schools to participate in the serving programme. Instead, such graduates are issued NYSC Exclusion Letter. This stands as equivalent to NYSC Discharged Certificate (for the served corps).
The only condition NYSC grants part-time graduates for service is if such school is allowed to regularized her students through the exercise called JAMB regularization. This is usually considered for graduates of daily part-time ND programmes who proceeded to HND full time.
Part-Time Graduates, Jobs and Labour Market.
One fear students may have is, if it will be easy for them to get jobs after completing a part-time or distance learning course. If you think there is any major difference between full time and part-time graduates in the labour market, you’re wrong.
After completing your 4 or 5 years part-time or distance learning course, you can use it to secure employment anywhere once your course is demanded.
You can be better off if you apply for government jobs though, because most private establishments may prefer NYSC Discharged certificates to Exclusion letters.
Coming out of any programmes with an excellent result is your main leverage over others – get the right grade.
This piece may be the most comprehensive guide on understanding part-time degree, HND, NCE and ND you’ve ever read. I still believe it needs regular updates. I advise you to visit again for such or subscribe for future posts. You can also drop a comment below to ask any questions not answered in the post.
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