Process of Assuring Quality in Counselling at the National Open University of Nigeria: A Critique
Provision of counselling services in open and distance education remains one of the best intervention strategies aimed at improving the capacity of every student to develop oneself and also to overcome numerous obstacles that may impinge on the process to successful completion of his or her programme. The process of providing these counselling services in an open university is not without inherent difficulties. This paper critiques the counselling process at the National Open University of Nigeria and possibly identifies impediments militating against effective, efficient and positive impact of therapeutic process on the clients. The paper also identifies areas in the therapeutic processes and procedures that need continuous rigorous research and documentation. The main aim of such research is to explore the possibilities of making the process of counselling interaction more learner centred, learner friendly and quality assured using Six Sigma Quality Assurance model. The paper therefore discusses the concept of open and distance education, alongside with the mission statement of NOUN, learner support services used in counselling or therapeutic services as it operates in ODL and in NOUN, media of counselling, challenges of guidance service delivery in NOUN and makes incisive recommendations on how to improve guidance service delivery.
Key words: Process, assuring quality, counselling, NOUN, critique, Six Sigma, philosophy