UNICAL GO DIGITAL!!!
As part of the effort to reposition the institution and better its standard, the University of Calabar has launched its online University programme accreditation portal. This is a new initiative aimed at fully automating the accreditation of universities academic programmes.
The event which took place at the Faculty of Art International Conference Hall (of the institution) witnessed the presence of the Minister of Education (Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i) who was the special guest of honour as well as The Executive Secretary of National University Commission Prof. Julius A. Okojie who was equally a co special quest of honour.
Others are Prof. James Epoke who is Unical Vice Chancellor, Dr. Roland Ehigeamosoe, Unical Pro Chancellor, The Vice Chancellors of various Nigerian Universities, their Directors of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Librarians across the nation and host of other dignitaries.
The event started with the official commissioning of National University Commission Data base (NUCDB) Wifi Hub at the University of Calabar Main Library and Commissioning of the institution’s new Senate Chamber by the Minister of Education alongside the Executive Secretary of NUC.
The NUCDB is an on-line centralized database system for all the approved universities in Nigeria. The project which was started on November 12, 2008, as a Public-Private Partnership initiative opened a new chapter in Nigeria’s education sector with immense value to service delivery in Nigeria University System. In the past, valuable data, which should have enriched the university community, Nigerians and outside world are wasted because of improper storage, management and harnessing information system.
Concerned by the inadequate information and online data management of Nigeria Universities which gave way to unwholesome practices and exploitation of the university system, the National University Commission (NUC) and its technical partner GUCCI CHIS Nigeria Limited with support from Federal Ministry of Education gave birth to NUC database (NUCDB) for Nigerian Universities to meet the global ICT challenges of 21st century
In his address, Prof. Epoke welcome the minister and her entourage and thank them for finding the institution worthy to host the occasion of such magnitude during his administration. He pledged his unalloyed support for any initiative that is academic oriented that will add to the Educational sector.
In lieu of the above, The Executive Secretary of National University Commission Prof. Julius A. Okojie in his keynote address asserts that it still baffles the eyes in beholding some of our universities after the so called accreditation to still be shadow of itself. He noted that Nigeria Universities ordeal hinges on corruption, systemic decay and most importantly; poor data reservation for subsequent reference. Interacting with Campuslife, Prof. Julius noted that “it is not possible to rate Harvard and Oxford Universities that are more than two hundred years old with our Nigeria Universities” he noted that through proper documentation of data which NUC assiduously fight to achieve, research can greatly be aided and academic itself will flourish better.
In her speech, the Minister of Education challenged the notion that Nigeria Universities are backward among peers. She maintains that besides not speaking well of the nation; it is not in line with the present administration transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. In her words “it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this epoch making events, the inauguration of the fast National Universities Commission online Universities accreditation portal. This system promises to kick start an ICT revolution in the administration of our universities. In another dimension, the Nigerian universities are poorly rated in other continent in particular and the world in general and start doing something about it. We know that the poor rating is not due to lack of the required intellectual capacity but veritably due to poor management of the resources in our institutions and our inability to use the internet. One of the results of this is the low visibility of the institutions; this portal is therefore a point step towards building world class universities in Nigeria”. She charged all the universities to embrace this “laudable initiative which has open up new frontiers of engagement for the benefit of all stakeholders in the universities education subsector and the general public”
The minister further commended the Executive Secretary of NUC Prof. Julius Okojie and his dynamic management team for their “tireless effort in our collective rise to build a university system that we can all be proud of”. She summed that “it is my greatest pleasure and privilege to inaugurate the NUC online programme accreditation portal to the glory of the almighty and overall benefit of all Nigerian”
Speaking with Campuslife during the event, Comr. Henry Bassey Eka, a student of Unical who is the NANS Zone B Director of Sports noted that choosing Unical to host the event may not be unconnected to the massive infrastructural development in the institution within this while as well as the high level of nonviolence the institution is noted for. Speaking on what he called laxity of the SUG President, Comr. Eka frown over the absent of the Unical SUG President Comr. Ima Ayi Ekpenyong. In his word “though we are not much because students are on vacation but it is not good for the Minister of Education to be in University of Calabar while the SUG President will be absent, it’s very bad. Even if the students were on vacation, there are some left students in the hostel that the SUG President is supposed to mobilize them and welcome the Minister and tell her our problems (if there is any), it’s so so unfortunate that the SUG President cannot be found to even say a word to the Minister of Education. People had been looking for such privilege but they’ve not got it. I don’t see the reason why none of the SUG Executive cannot be found here to say a word to the Minister, it is a laxity on their part” he fumed.
In response, the SUG President claimed that besides not being “officially invited, he wasn’t aware of the programme”, notwithstanding it was aired in CRBC, AIT, Channels, NTA etc
The inauguration was followed by workshop on “NUC-online Universities Programme Accreditation Portal” by some resource persons, headed by Dr. Noel Saliyu who is the Deputy Director of NUC Quality Assurance Department, Abuja and Hon. Adeliyu Paul among others.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Noel noted that out of all the 123 Universities in the Country, 67 have been given the form/format and password to register their institution’s detail. He noted that 38 have already submitted theirs. He lectured on the process of registering the various institutions data which some Universities ICT Teams complained of being complicated. In addition, Prof. Dele Joshua noted the registration is further compounded by the un-unified format of registration across various institutions, he suggested that there should be wider entry manual design by specialist which should have a unify format to aid avoid the errors that may likely occur during the registration.
In responding to this, a CD plate that self-explains the protocols of the registration was shared to over one thousand participant at a free rate.
Speaking to Campuslife after the event, one of the participant Prof. Leonard Agwunobi of Department of Animal Science, Unical, noted that the organization of the event was superb as all the participant were taken into account. He equally noted that the “workshop was so attended” as it draw the presence of the Minister of Education as well as the Executive Secretary of NUC. Prof. Agwunobi acknowledged that the workshop is very beneficial as the knowledge of ICT is highly needed by students and lecturers in this 21st century which is Information Age. He equally made it clear that the workshop was for all; both within the state and beyond. He charged all his colleagues participant to put into practice all they have learn from the workshop, both in administration and in students results so that the students’ results can come out as quickly as possible without further delay. To students Prof asserted “as they have seen the importance of ICT, therefore, they should use it for the benefit of all and not for destruction as some people are now doing in our Nigeria Society” he summed.
Meanwhile, refreshment was equally provided from breakfast to Lunch. The occasion was brought to an end by Prof. Austin Obiekezie (Unical DVC Academic) after his closing remarks
Mike Odey of physics department noted that “the online is a welcome development in Nigeria Institutions though there is possibility of the students abusing it as well as the institutions monopolizing it for money. I just wish the institutions will not treat it like Nigeria issues that are often mare by corruption. I commend the NUC"