Updated on June 25, 2015
The current administration identified the very poor conditions of the physical infrastructure in the University as a challenge, and from the beginning sought to meaningfully upgrade them as follows:
1. Large Lecture Hall - Completely rehabilitated.
2. SIWES Block Completely remodelled and fully rehabilitated.
3. University Main Library is fully upgraded with air-conditioned e-library, with 100 work stations.
4. Alhaji Commasie Lecture Theatre was rehabilitated by First Bank Nigeria Plc.
5. Multi-Activity Centre University Cafeteria: construction work on-going sponsored by Diamond Bank Nigeria Plc.
6. Faculty of Law Library Completely remodelled and expanded with air-conditioned reading spaces, and book stock Areas.
7. Faculty of Law Moot Court In line with expert advice, a modern/expanded Moot Court has been built for the Faculty of Law, and properly furnished.
8. New Faculty of Law Complex Sponsored by TETFund now in use.
9. New ICT Sponsored by TETFund now operational with 248 work stations and a dedicated 410KVA gen set.
10. Model Science Laboratory TETFund sponsored, construction work is on-going.
11. NDDC Hostel Commissioned in July 2013, and currently a link road is being constructed by the NDDC to integrate future uses with the University Centre.
PROJECTS AT ORLU
A. Three-floor Seminar Halls Built by the Imo State Government: Project Completed
B. Laboratory Complex for Haematology & PharmacologyConstruction on-going Sponsored by Imo State Government.
C. Ultra Modern 800 Capacity Terraced Lecture Theatre with Basement Facilities: Construction ongoing Sponsor: Imo State Government.
D. Cafeteria Attracted by Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso under TETFund Sponsorship Work Completed.
E. Conference Hall at the School of Nursing, Umuna Orlu L.G.A Sponsored by Imo State Government, work completed
F. Students' Hostel: Completion at about 90%
G. Erosion Control around Borrow Pit at College of Medicine actualized with perimeter drainage.
12. Imo State Government Projects at the Lake Nwaebere Campus Owerri.
3 Large Lecture Halls are currently being built by the State Government at the Owerri Campus.
4 Owunna Recreation Park Rehabilitation and complete remodelling of the park was entirely sponsored by the Chief Peter Sunday Owunna Memorial Foundation of which the immediate past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Mazi Clement Owunna MFR, NPOM is the Chairman.
5 Other Construction Projects about to be commenced:
A. Ultra Modern University Main Library
B. University Medical Centre
C. Faculty of Science Complex
D. Completion of the Abandoned PG Block
E. Faculty of Business Administration.
F. Senate Building
G. Faculty of Humanities Complex.
Updated on June 25, 2015
...as 4,300 candidates sat for JAMB first 100% CBT
...University provided 215 computer systems with over 100 on standby
...two sessions held with 430 candidates
The University (IMSU) has been made a registering point for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), as well as an accredited centre for the Computer Based Test, better known as the CBT E-testing examination, also called Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
To this end, a total of 4,300 candidates drawn from several parts of the country sat for the first 100 per cent computer-based test, otherwise called CBT e-testing at the IMSU Information and Communication Technology (IMSU ICT) centre.
The exercise was conducted with minimal hitches on the first day by JAMB officials allocated to Imo State University, using the IMSU ICT unit as their resource centre. The ICT centre has equally been in-charge of all digital electronic registration in the University.
During each of the 10 days of the e-testing exercise at the IMSU ICT centre, the University provided 215 systems, and another 100 systems placed on standby. A total of 215 candidates sat for each session held twice a day, which brought the total number to 430 candidates.
Meanwhile, the digitalization of the JAMB e-registration online and offline collection of candidates' data was done by the ICT centre in the University between January and February 2015.
The CBT exercise blazed off nationwide from 10 to 21 March, 2015, as JAMB had slated 2015 as the take-off of its CBT examination for all candidates sitting for entrance examinations into tertiary institutions in the country.
This year's pioneering CBT exercise was written by over 1 million candidates across the country, and sat for the examination in more than 400 approved CBT centres nationwide.
To achieve success of the JAMB CBT (e-testing) at IMSU, a JAMB technical team was deployed from Abuja, which installed a satellite dish, which was connected to the IMSU ICT server for the purposes of communicating with the centre, and also for the central server to have access to the necessary information that would be useful in calling up JAMB questions for the CBT (e-testing) examination. The computer terminals are populated with the servers IP address.
The computer system is programmed to recognize data or information kept in a limited space of digital matching pair of tags thereby enabling our network technical officials assigned to perform the technical duties in ensuring a skillful conduct of the CBT (e-testing) examination.
In evaluating the strategies for the CBT (e-testing) examination, the IMSU-ICT network team led by Uche Anozie was commended for doing a good job by installing dot.net software, acts as a gateway for the JAMB Pegasus browser.
The installation of dot.net software makes it easy to open the Pegasus browser in order to enter the JAMB IP address, to call up JAMB questions for the CBT e-testing. This enabled the team to upload the responses of the candidates to the central server. Following this procedure each JAMB candidate was able to access to the logging window.
Updated on June 26, 2015
The attention of the Authorities of Imo State university, Owerri has been drawn to a misrepresentation of facts published in an Owerri based local tabloid Announcer Express of Monday, March 16th, 2015 on the above subject matter.
It will be recalled that the Correspondents' Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo State Council paid a familiarization visit to the University on Thursday 26th February, 2015.
During the visit, the Vice-Chancellor directed the Public Relations Officer and Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor to take the correspondents on a guided tour of both infrastructure and facilities on Campus. The visitors were amazed at the level of transformation that has occurred in the University during the short period of the assumption of office of the Vice-Chancellor and within the tenure of the present Imo State Government.
At the end of the tour, the Vice-Chancellor addressed the media Correspondents, where he said inter-alia: "Since the relocation of the University to its present site, no government, be it civilian or military has shown any interest in the development of the University, except the present administration of His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha OON That the infrastructural projects on campus were from four sources: a) the State Government; b) intervention from Banks such as Diamond, First Bank; c) friends of the University like Peter Sunday Owunna Memorial Foundation and TETFund.
Acceptable that the Federal Government is only husbanding the TETFund, it has grossly abused this role by directing the Fund to the establishment of nine (9) new Universities against the policy of its establishment.
Allocation of Funds for projects in the University has an established format as against what obtains in the sharing of money between Federal Government, States and Local Government from the Federation account.
Federal Government would rather have used its capital grants for the purpose of establishing the new Universities than depleting the TETFund, which were monies collected from the after profit tax of Industries and Companies to help in the development of tertiary education which serves as a pool for its operation.
For the avoidance of any shadow of doubt, TETFund was established through an Act in 2011 to take care of the needs of Tertiary Educational Institutions, to ameliorate infrastructural deficiencies, impediments to teaching, learning and research.
The Fund as established shall be managed by a Board of Trustees whose functions are: Monitor and ensure collection of education tax by the Service and ensure transfer of same to the Fund; receive requests and approve admittable projects after due consideration. Ensure disbursement of funds to various public tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Board of Trustees shall administer the tax imposed by this Act and disburse the amount in the Fund to Federal and State Tertiary Educational Institutions specifically for the provision or maintenance of: a) essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning;
b) instructional material and equipment;
c) research and publication;
d) academic staff training and development, and
e) any other need which in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, is critical and essential for the improvement of quality and maintenance of standards in the higher educational institution.
The TETFund and its allocation of funds is not a part of the Federation account; rather it is monies collect from the after profit tax of Industries and Companies.
As facts are sacred while comments are free, it will be quite disingenuous, disrespectful and a distortion of facts for any tabloid to quote the Vice-Chancellor out of context and publish same just to score "cheap" political points or to pitch the Vice-Chancellor against the Visitor to the University is to say the least unacceptable to the Authorities of the University and against civilized conduct.
We wish to seize this medium to tell all tabloids both local and National to send reporters or correspondents who can interpret speeches well to events in the University so as to forestall a repeat of the embarrassment meted to the Vice-Chancellor by Announcer Express.
His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State and Visitor to Imo State University is satisfied with the Administrative ingenuity and prowess of the Vice-Chancellor and has shown at all times that he has implicit confidence in him and in the running of the University. Imo State is getting better. IMSU is indeed getting better.
Updated on June 26, 2015
The Imo State University e-library has experienced a quantum leap from the backwaters into the future, with the recent equipping of the complex with 39 e-resources and links to some major ready-to-use foreign academic journals.
This was disclosed by the Univeristy's Acting Librarian, Dr Mrs Chidi Nwosu in an exclusive interview with IMSU GAZETTE in Owerri; noting that this fit would increase the University's ranking on the global webometric ranking of universities.
Dr Mrs Nwosu also disclosed about the incoming of a brand new library complex at the University's Lake Nwaebere main campus, speaking further on the inter-campus wide link-up on the cloud, due to campus-wide Wi-Fi system, which has certainly taken the University to new heights.
Said the Acting Librarian: "Upon assuming office, the new administration of Prof. Ukachukwu A. Awuzie decided to give a face lift to the University Library. I am sure that was based on his understanding of the Library as the hub of academic life in the University. He put the procedure in motion to get the University Council to approve the renovation. The contract was awarded, and the entire work took about eight months. As you can see, the whole place is wearing a new look now."
She noted that there were difficulties; but said they were what she would refer to as 'good problems,' as the breaking down of the library complex, in order to rebuild has brought about a new edifice, which is equipped with some of the latest e-resources as can be seen in any modern university.
On the benefits of the library upgrade to the entire University community, especially to the students, the Acting Librarian stated that it has enhanced the beauty of the building and the University landscape.
"The ambience of the place is quite inviting right now. I am sure the students will like it; and those who love to be around good environment would be happy that the University Library and its surrounding environment are now wearing a new. This will encourage them to always come to use the Library," she stated.
She commended the efforts of the Imo State Government, especially under Governor Rochas Okorocha, whom she described as the biggest supporter of the University since its establishment in 1992.
"The University is a parastatal of the State Government, and it is funded by the Government. The Government gives subvention to the University, but the day-to-day running of the University is the prerogative of the University Management.
When the government advances money to the University in form of subvention, the management looks at critical areas in the University to deploy this money. In its wisdom at the time, management thought that the Library should have priority, and that was why management invested so much money in the renovation of the Library," Dr Mrs Nwosu stated.
The Acting Librarian however, informed that there remains another big challenge to the University, despite the e-library upgrade; which she said, is the completion of the new gigantic Library complex, to accommodate more users.
According to her, the current Library has become too small, given the increased student population in the University, which has necessitated the erecting of a new bigger Library; equipped with more seating and reading capacity.
She equally spoke on increasing the staffing of the Library. "Our major challenge is under-staffing; we are grossly under-staffed and as such, we are unable to render some of the services we are supposed to render. For instance, we are supposed to extend our services period to much later in the day, but because of paucity of staff, we don't. You can't expect a staff that started work in the morning around 8: 00 am to stay beyond 4: 00 pm. It will not be realistic. But, if we had had the full complement of staff, you could organize a shift periods for them. I must assure you that the Vice Chancellor is on top of the matter, we have already told him and he has expressed his understanding of the need for more staff in the Library."
Recently, the IMSU GAZETTE team sat down with the Acting Librarian, Dr (Mrs.) Chidi Nwosu, in an interview. And she spoke on inter-campus wide link-up on the cloud, expected improved webometric ranking of the University due to campus-wide Wi-Fi system, low Library usage statistics, among other transformations that have taken place at the Library, with a new Library complex coming up soon Excerpts:
Please may we meet you?
I am Dr (Mrs.) Chidi Nwosu, the acting Librarian of the University.
Can you give us a brief on the recent renovations that have taken place in the Library?
Upon assumption of office the new administration under the leadership of Prof. U. A. Awuzie, decided to give a face lift to the Library. I am sure that was based on his understanding of the Library as the hub of academic life in the University. He put the procedure in motion to get the University Council to approve the renovation. The contract was awarded, and the entire work took about eight months. The renovation work involved changing the old asbestos ceiling with modern PVC; tiling the floor; changing window louvre blades with almaco windows, and changing unsightly wooden doors with superior doors. As you can see, the whole place is wearing a new look now.
What were the major difficulties you encountered during this process?
There were difficulties, yes; but 'theywere what I would refer to as 'good problems. If you are breaking down in order to rebuild, there is no problem. To rebuild, there is no problem. Sometimes, if you must get something better, you may have to dismantle the old thing. During that period, our students could not use the Library resources because the renovation work was going on. Some staff also had difficulties getting where to stay because either the floor of their offices or their roofs were being retouched. Like I earlier said, we were able to cope because we knew that something better was coming out of that.
What are the benefits of the renovation to the University community, especially to the students?
The benefits are self-evident. As you are approaching the University Library, you must be impressed with the enhanced beauty of the building and the environment. The ambience of the place is quite inviting right now. I am sure the students will like it; and those who love to be around good environment would be happy that the University Library and its surrounding environment are now wearing a new. This will encourage them to always come to use the Library.
Can you explain the role of the State Government and the University Management in the renovation of the Library?
The University is a parastatal of the State Government, and it is funded by the Government. The Government gives subvention to the University, but the day-to-day running of the University is the prerogative of the University Management. When the government advances money to the University in form of subvention, the management looks at critical areas in the University to deploy this money. In its wisdom at the time, management thought that the Library should have priority, and that was why management invested so much money in the renovation of the Library.
Now that the Library has been renovated, what would you consider to be your next major challenge?
We haven't reached our Eldorado, we are still going up! If you look through this window you will see a construction site. In a few months time, you will see a gigantic Library complex standing on that place that used to be a playground for students. The foundation work is already going on there. This current Library complex is becoming too small for us, as our books stock is growing. I consider it a challenge; we are coping anyway. Our major challenge is under-staffing; we are grossly under-staffed and as such, we are unable to render some of the services we are supposed to render. For instance, we are supposed to extend our services period to much later in the day, but because of paucity of staff, we don't. You can't expect a staff that started work in the morning around 8: 00 am to stay beyond 4: 00 pm. It will not be realistic. But, if we had had the full complement of staff, you could organize a shift periods for them. I must assure you that the Vice Chancellor is on top of the matter, we have already told him and he has expressed his understanding of the need for more staff in the Library.
Talking about the E-Library, can you give us an insight on its benefits to staff and students?
E-Library, Virtual Library, Digital Library; all these are concepts that capture the idea of the "library without walls." The world has become a global entity, so much so that we should be able to be part of what is happening in any place in the world and benefit from it. With the E-Library operational now, our staff and students are able to queue into developments in the world in terms of books and other learning resources. We are just a click away from the Library of Congress and MIT Library; we have up to thirty-nine (39) e-resources in our KOHA system. With this, students are able to queue into whatever information they want with just a click. The presence of E-Library in our University has helped to make access to information wider. It has increased access to information and knowledge for our staff and students.
Have you met all your goals for this project? Are you satisfied with where things are? Do you have any regret(s)?
No, we have not met all our goals. You see, the University system is coordinated by a national body called the National Universities Commission (NUC), and it requires every department to have a Library and an E-Library component of that Library. Right now, our departmental libraries, where they exist do not have all the e-resources that we require. Working with the ICT Director of the University, we are trying to extend this E-Library project to all the departments in the University. Satisfaction? Yes, I am happy where we are, but like I said earlier, we have not reached where we want to get to. I don't have regrets at all because we didn't have anything before but now, we have a lot to boast of and we are still aspiring to get more. We have no regrets whatsoever; we have both free access e-resources and subscription-based ones.
What advice or encouragement do you have for students, especially in terms of the E-Library services?
They should avail themselves of the opportunity of the e-library to increase their knowledge. The essence of University education is to acquire knowledge in its very broad terms and you don't just stay in the classroom and get all that is required of you. Beyond going to classes and reading their textbooks, they can always avail themselves of the e-resources in the e-library to acquire further knowledge and information from authors and people around the world. Let them come all the time; there is no registration and the library is open to all students. While they come, we expect them to be reasonable; there should be some sort of decorum. We don't allow them to come in with flash drives to copy downloaded information to guard against virus infections. They should heed to little instructions like that. As well, it would be good for them to give us feedback on the difficulties they have accessing resources. Let them also complain to their HODs that their departments are not well positioned on our web platforms. That would help us, as well as the ICT to improve on the services we render to them. ICT is user-driven, and without their feedback, we may not achieve all our goals!
Now that the Library is no longer just a Library, but a Library system where Faculty and Departmental Libraries now see each other on the cloud; what is your impression about this transformation?
We have moved from the concept of "a library" to the paradigm of the Library understood as a system of libraries. And it is a great innovation! With the campus-wide WiFi, we now have a situation where we intend to make sure that you can connect to any departmental library through the main library portal so the content in the various departmental repositories will be visible on the cloud. We therefore encourage all departments to send us their journals, abstracts and repositories of their research content. This will improve our webometric ranking and make us more visible and respected worldwide. So, the concept of "library system" is a welcome development and we should embrace it and take advantage of all the benefits from this new arrangement.
How adequate are the resources in the Libraries?
Adequacy is a relative term. I keep saying that we have an eye on something beyond where we are now. I cannot say we are not making progress. In recent times we have been taking delivery of library books worth over N36 million. I will give tribute to TETfund intervention programme. The TETfund Library intervention programme has been very helpful. Annually, it makes funds available to Libraries for the purchase of books, journals and other Library resources. In the present dispensation, courtesy of TETfund, we have been buying books for the various departments and Faculties. We can now say that we have stepped up our book collection; possibly if we were at 40% saturation rate or position before, we have now stepped up to 60% and as time goes on, we will continue to increase the library holdings. All I can say is that: we have very good collection of books in several departments now but we haven't reached 100%. In any case, as the years go by, we drop some books that have become obsolete and add new ones. We are happy that we have many books, our collection is growing. In fact, one of the laws of Library Science is that 'the Library is a growing organism'; so we are growing in terms of Library collection. That's where we are.
In your own opinion, what is the usage statistics of the Library, considering students' population in the University? Would you say that the number complements the use of the Library?
This is a very good question. I do not think that most of our students realize the place of the University Library in their academic pursuit. You find out that several of them don't come to use the Library. Relative to the population of the students, the Library usage statistics is not encouraging; that is not to say that students don't use the Library, they do. In a situation where we have over 15,000 students in this place, we expect that they would be coming even outside the exams period. Many of them just fancy the Library only during exams to prepare for exams; that is not the idea. The idea of the Library is that students come to the Library and read ahead of the lecturer; when the lecturer comes to the class and gives the course outline, the dutiful student should go to the Library and read ahead. There is a need for a re-orientation of the students for them to understand that the Library is the hub of their academic life, and they should spend a lot of time taking information in the Library.
What is the attitude of users to the resources in the Library?
Students come around, pick Library books and read; but some unscrupulous ones mutilate the books which is very disappointing. Some of them even steal the books outright. We have a policy against the swoop photocopying of students' projects. You find out that some of them go and rip those projects; we have had cases of students who go to the shelf and in hidden places, they just rip the entire project and drop the cover. It's selfishness. The reason we don't encourage the swoop photocopying is to guard against plagiarism which is an offence. We encourage them to stay in the Library and read these projects and get guidelines on how to write their own. We have some decent users too and we encourage them.
Updated on June 26, 2015
...Centre is first and only in imo state
...Was used by other visually-impaired candidates who missed exams in centres in eastern Nigeria
As the Imo State University Information and Communication Technology (IMSU ICT) Centre continues its trail blazing effort, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has successfully used the centre to administer its first-ever computer-based test (e-testing) exercise for visually-impaired candidates.
A total of 18 visually-impaired candidates successfully sat for their CBT (e-testing) examination during the just-concluded 10 day nationwide JAMB CBT (e-testing) examination.
Speaking with IMSU GAZETTE, Mr. Michael Okonkwo, the JAMB CBT Centre Administrator said the examination started on 19th March, 2015 with initially four visually impaired candidates at a time, due mainly to the unavailability of the brail machine.
Mr. Okonkwo stated that on the first day, two sessions were held each for four candidates, which lasted for five hours per session, bringing the total number to 10 hours per day.
However, he informed that the Centre was able to hold three sessions on the second day (20 March), with a total of 10 candidates, which lasted for 15 hours.
"In terms of accommodation and arrangement of the examination room for the candidates, they were kept in very a comfortable examination environment, with all the necessary facilities particularly needed for administering examinations for visually-impaired candidates."
"Examples of these facilities are: the brail machine and the ear-piece, which enables them to hear the questions and as well select their answers through the brail machine keyboard."
The IMSU JAMB CBT Centre administrator stated that the IMSU ICT Centre is the first and only centre for visually-impaired candidates in Imo State; adding that the Centre was also used to administer CBT (e-testing) examinations for other visually-impaired candidates who missed their exams in centres around Eastern Nigeria.
Updated on June 26, 2015
The IMSU Debating Team A comprised of Ogbuokiri David Ugochukwu and Uwakwe Henry Ikechukwu has been ranked first debating team in Nigeria ahead of over 60 teams in the country that took part in the 2014 All Nigerian Universities Debating Championships (ANUDC) which held at the University of Lagos, Lagos State 23 to 29, 2015.
The University Debating were represented at the tournament by six teams of 12 speakers, and all the six teams performed excellently, going by the tab released at the end of the tournament.
However, three of the six teams eligible to break into the Knockout rounds after seven preliminary rounds of debating.
At the end of preliminary rounds, IMSU Debating Union Team A was top of the table on 18 points out of 21 points accruable to all of the over 60 teams that attended the tournament from around 17 Nigerian Universities.
The other two teams: IMSU B (comprising Ogbuokiri Ifeanyi Valentine) and IMSU C (with Anyanwu Emeka and Chima Anaele) broke 13th and 16th respectively on the tab. Only 16 of 60 were needed to break into the Knockout stages.
The three IMSU teams reached the Quarter Finals, while progressed into the Semi Finals and the team A reached the Grand Finale of the tournament with a team each from University of Lagos, University of Calabar and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.
At the end of the university debating championship, IMSU Debating Union's speaker, Ogbukiri Ugochukwu David emerged as the Overall Best Speaker of the Debating Tournament and second Best Public Speaker of the ANUD championships.
Four IMSU Debaters were among the top 10 Best speakers of the tournament, and all nine other speakers of the Union were among the Best 36 speakers in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, available records of the IMSU Debating Union show that it was first and highest breaking team on tab; Overall Best Speaker Debater of the tournament; second Best Public Speaker award; third Best Team in the finals; broke 3/3 teams into the Knockout stages; broke an Adjudicator; 2/3 teams; reached Semi finals; 1/3 Best Team in the finals; three of top 10 best speakers and nine of top 36 best speakers on tab.
Meanwhile, the Imo State University (IMSU) has been slated to host the 2015 edition of the ANUD tournament, which would take place at the University in September this year.
Updated on June 26, 2015
Thousands of students of the Imo State University, Owerri, recently stormed the Government House, Owerri, in solidarity with Governor Rochas Okorocha for giving them free education, which they said the he has sustained since he came in as Governor. Before leaving the school premesises, the Vc represented by the school PRO Nze. Ralph Njoku urged the students to go and showcase the discipline instilled in them by the university and also to behave themselves.
Speaking with IMSU Gazette, The students expressed joy that the free education has worked effectively well, contrary to the wrong impressions the opponents of the government have been giving about the free education in the State.
The students, who had come in their thousands, and took every space in and around the Government House, sang solidarity songs in honour of the Governor, while presidents of all the student bodies of all the Faculties spoke one after the other to commend the Governor for coming up with the free education policy.
Each student leader who spoke had told the interesting story of how they never believed that free education could be possible at the University level in the State considering the high number of students' enrolment from the State. But that they began to have implicit confidence in the system when it worked for a year, and since then, it has remained a success story.
Chairman of the Conference of the Presidents of the Student Unions of all the Faculties, Comrade Kelechi Onyeakazi said that they decided to have the solidarity visit through the Faculties to ensure testimonies from students from various Faculties who are direct beneficiaries of the free education system.
The students also thanked the Governor for the new structures he has erected in the University campuses of Owerri and Orlu, and for ensuring that the University has not experienced any strike since he assumed office, following an increment in the University's subvention by the State Government. This, the students noted, has guaranteed regular payment of salaries and gratuities by the University Management led by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie.
Again, they equally eulogized Governor Okorocha for making the University internet compliant; and for ensuring the upgrading and accreditation of the Faculties; adding that the best that can happen to them would be for the Governor to come back to serve a second term.
The students also honoured the Governor by giving him an award as the Best Governor of the Year, for his services and compassion for humanity; and for being student-friendly; and more over, for giving them free education that has worked more than expected.
Addressing the students, Governor Okorocha said he felt fulfilled seeing the students coming in their thousands to appreciate him for what his administration has done at IMSU; and for the free education policy of his administration; adding that it was God and not him, who made the free education possible to the extent of working better than what some people had expected.
The Governor also used that occasion to give the students account of his stewardship as their governor listing out most of his achievements, which the students echoed with solidarity songs at intervals.
He assured the students that his next four years, if he comes back as governor, would witness the massive industrialization of the State, aimed at giving a deadly blow to poverty and unemployment in the State.
The Governor stayed behind to organise the distribution of the mini-laptops, especially when he noticed that the students struggled to receive the laptops. He directed that the students who were present be given one mini-laptop each, to appreciate the presence of the students and he began the distribution of the mini-laptops himself.
Updated on June 26, 2015
The department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences recently organized a workshop on the "Foundation of Laboratory Leadership and Management," which held at the ICT Conference Hall.
The programme coordinator, Dr Rose Anyanwu informed that the foundation of Laboratory leadership and management is a course designed to provide leadership and management skills for Laboratory professionals and promote excellence in the day-today operation of Medical Laboratories in support of national and global health emergencies in the quality of laboratory services and practices.
The Coordinator said the workshop received immense support from Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Association of Public Health Laboratory (APHL) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) drew participants from IMSU's Head of Department and lecturers of Medical Laboratory and Microbiology, as well as medical laboratory scientists from Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri and others from other institutions and laboratories in the state.
Anyanwu informed the audience that the goal of the training was to build management and leadership skills to Medical Laboratory professionals working in health care and public health system by way of lectures with the use of presentations, small group exercises for most modules, followed by presentation from the groups and small groups choosing a Recorder and Reporter.
Meanwhile, the workshop was follow up from a cascade training which had been conducted in Ekpoma, Edo State from 13 to 17 January, 2014, with participants (targeted audience) drawn from sciences in the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences.
A survey to measure the success of the workshop, a structural pretest was administered on the participants to assess foundation knowledge of leadership and management principles; which eventually turned out to meet the intended purpose.
At the end of the interactive training program, certificates were issued to the participants.
The Team Coordinator thanked the University Management for their contributions and financial support toward the success of the training workshop.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie in his remark appreciated the workshop training, which he said was one of his vision to improve the standard of learning and development in the University.
Updated on June 26, 2015
Upon my appointment as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Imo State University by the Visitor to the University, His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha OON, on November, 22nd 2012, I set about putting in place, the relevant governance and administrative infrastructure necessary for the smooth running of the University. To this effect, I demonstrated to the Visitor, the apparent need for the urgent constitution of the Governing Council for the University. Prior to this time, the absence of an inaugurated Governing Council for the University had been a huge impediment to the development of a sustainable and robust governance and administrative framework for the University.
The Visitor, in his usual magnanimity, approved for the appointment of a Governing Council in December, 2012. This Council was inaugurated in January, 2013. With a Governing Council in place, various statutory bodies deemed apposite for the effective administration of the university were set up, and have since then dispensed their duties according to the tenets of the relevant university laws.
The advent of the 7th Governing Council has brought in its wake: the commencement of the process for the ethical and moral rebirth within the university community; and the process for a comprehensive intellectual values re-engineering among staff and students. No doubt, my administration, has made tremendous and appreciable progress in this regard as sound moral, ethical and intellectual values have begun to permeate the institution's environment.
Senate before the advent of my administration had uncertain days of meeting. Under my administration, our university like other Universities, now have definite dates of meeting and a robust calendar for its functions, as each meeting's deliberations is followed up with action sheets.
1) We have worked hard to maintain peace and stability which has helped us to work with academic calendar. We have completed 2 sessions since then, graduated our students and ensured that those that were qualified went for their Youth Service.
2) We have had regular Senate meetings from 39 when we assumed duty to 56 now.
3) We have had Panels try students for examination misconduct and those found guilty were rusticated - our 700 students had been affected.
4) We had also set up Panels on disciplinary matters involving staff. Some have been completed and disposed off while others are on.
5) We have embarked on procurement of pews to ensure that no student stands up to take his lectures and that exam halls are not crowed.
6) In the last 2 years, we have graduated about 150 Medical Doctors from our college of Medicine.
7) Promotion of Staff which posed a great problem at the commencement of this administration has been addressed by following due process and laid down University procedures.
8) As of now the UCAC has almost completed the 2013 and 2014 appraisal. Very soon, A &PC would meet to do its part.
9) We have had one inaugural lecture and the first public lecture in the University
1) Our admission exercises have gone well since last session. Effort was made to accommodate staff interest particularly, as it relates to their children.
2) Today, IMSU is the 7th most subscribed to University in Nigeria, and 1st amongst state and private Universities. We hope that with the structures on ground, JAMB and NUC will soon increase our carrying capacity.
2.0 INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
Master Plan for the University
In my previous sojourn towards becoming the Vice-Chancellor of this University, I had made the development of a comprehensive master-plan one of the cardinal points of my administration. At that point, a master-plan for the university was lacking.
- I have set in motion the relevant machinery, within the University, towards the development of a master plan. A comprehensive master-plan remains the panacea to the prevalent non-user friendly environment which I met upon my appointment as Acting Vice-Chancellor.
- Towards evolving this master plan, was the bold effort of the Council that persuaded government to declare the Lake Nwaebere campus of the University as the University's permanent site. My administration will work for the actualisation of this policy pronouncement.
Landscaping and Beautification of the Campuses
Whereas the contractors have been engaged to carry out the landscaping of the Orlu campus, efforts are made to ensure that all the land boroughs situated between the Okigwe Road and Ohaozara Street in Owerri become part of the main Owerri campus of the University. Once this is done, a comprehensive landscaping of the entire campus would be carried out to provide such high levels of environmental ambience as is associated with other reputable Universities, both locally and internationally, aimed at stimulating intellectual and research excellence in the University.
Other Basic Infrastructure for the University
In furtherance of the need to upgrade, refurbish and revamp the ailing infrastructure stock within the university's campuses at Lake Nwaebere (Owerri) and Umuna Orlu, LGA, my administration, armed with the excellent support and co-operation of the Pro-chancellor, the entire Governing Council and the Visitor to the university has attracted and in most cases, commenced the development of:
- A 700-seat capacity Terraced Lecture Theatre at the Umuna Orlu LGA campus;
- Sinking of many boreholes under our cluster system arrangement.
- Clearing of all shanties on campus and temporarily relocating them to the Ohazara Road end of the campus.
- A Three-floor Seminar Complex for the College of Medicine at the Orlu campus;
- A Two- floor Laboratory complex for Haematology and Pharmacology at the Orlu campus;
- A Cafeteria for staff and students at the Orlu campus; attracted by Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso;
- A 200 million Naira ICT centre, which I had previously attracted to the University in my capacity as the Immediate Past President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), at the Lake Nwaebere Campus;
- The TETFund funded Faculty of Law Building which has been completed and commissioned;
- The N350 million Model Science Laboratory Complex, recently attracted by Council and Management from TETFund.
- The rehabilitation and redevelopment of the former Central Multi-Activity Complex (C-MAC) by Diamond Bank Plc;
- The Owunna Memorial Recreational Park complex, courtesy of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Mazi Clement Owunna.
- Three large lecture halls, courtesy of the Executive Governor of Imo state and Visitor to the University. These lecture halls have attained 65% completion at this time;
- The reconstruction and rehabilitation of the University Library complex.
- The redevelopment of the SIWES building.
- The rehabilitation and refurbishing of the Large Lecture Hall, the Coomasie Complex for the Department of Theatre Arts and the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Dean's building.
- We reroofed the Bursary, Registry and the Anatomy and Physiology blocks and made them now conducive for teaching and learning. The morgue in the Anatomy tank has at least 12 cadavers there.
- As a way of addressing the Law Accreditation, we got the Law Block completed and equipped, rebuilt and expanded the old Law Library and built a new Moot Court. They are all properly equipped.
- We have renovated one of the Faculty of Education Blocks and provided a workshop for Department of Agricultural Engineering.
- We attracted a Bus from ABC Transport for practical on Automobile and Mechanical Engineering.
- Completion of Nursing School Auditorium and Hostel at Umuna Orlu L.G.A
- A Cafeteria at Umuna attracted from TETFund by Hon, Jerry Alagbaoso.
- Pharmacology and Haematology Laboratory under construction.
- 3 Storey Seminar Block - completed and now furnished.
- A 750 seat capacity Lecture Theatre with a basement that can accommodate 300 persons at Umuna Campus - reached 70% completion.
- My administration secured the release of N350m (Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) for the completion of the Lecture Auditorium and Hostel Complex for the School of Nursing which is also situated at the Orlu Campus, from His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha OON.
- Part of this fund is being used to refurbish, complete/equip some of the abandoned buildings at the IMSUTH, Orlu.
In the last 2 years through the instrumentality of Council and Management, the following projects/grants have been received from TETFund. They include:
- The N350 million Model Science Laboratory Complex - under construction.
- NI00 million TETFund Special Intervention with which we furnished Law classrooms, procured executive tables, white boards and buses and Hilux Vans.
- NI.2 billion TETFund Special Intervention for the building of Hostel and its furnishing. - Attracted by Chief Patrick Chidolue.
- N500 million TETFund Special Intervention for equipment and furniture in our laboratories, studios and workshops; Attracted by Mazi Dr. Ijeoma Arodiogbu.
- N 100 million TETFund Special Intervention for procurement of teaching materials and equipment - Trans Afrique.
- N1.5 million TETFund Special Intervention for the construction and furnishing of our Senate Building - From the Honourable Minister of State for Education Prof. V. Onwuliri
- N1 billion TETFund Special Intervention for the construction of a Lecture Theatre, procurement of 500 Lecture Theatre chairs and procurement of some vehicles. - Attracted by Alhaji Issa.
- N1 billion TETFund Special Intervention for the construction of another Lecture Theatre, and provision of equipment and facilities at NI00 million each for four Faculties. - Attracted by Alhaji Issa.
- We renovated the SIWES block and the Centre for Igbo Studies and equipped them.
- The N 150 million Owunna Park built and donated to the University by Owunna Memorial Foundation.
- Purchase of Vehicles: Through diligent management of resources and the intervention from TETFund, we have been able to procure vehicle for some of our Deans, Directors and Heads of Units. Over 28 new vehicles - including buses, cars and Hilux Vans.
Contracts have now been awarded and work has started under the TETFund Normal Intervention (2011- 2013) and the Federal Government Needs Intervention for:
1. The Faculty of Science Complex
2. The University Main Library
3. The Faculty of Business Administration
4. Postgraduate Building
5. A Modern Medical Centre.
- Installation of an injection substation that hooked the University to the national grid via a 33KV l lines.
- Reactivation of all generators at Orlu and Lake Nwaebere campuses of the University. With these, we ensure eight hours supply of power daily at each of the campuses.
- With presentation made to Council on the need for linking the two campuses to the national grid as a way of not only ensuring more regular power supply, but also of cutting costs, and with the subsequent approval by Council, the two campuses have within the past two years been linked to the national grid.
Environmental Health and Sanitation
Our University campuses have rapid growing grasses that tend to make the campuses look bushy despite the efforts of the workers. My administration, to ensure high sanitation standards and health, embarked on:
(a) Provision of mowing machines.
(b) Regular evacuation of wastes and regular fumigation of the campuses.
(c) Demolition of illegal structures and relocation of people doing businesses on campuses, to better stores and malls.
(d) Provision of storm water drainages particularly around the borrow pit at Orlu, which erosion was turning into a threat for the buildings and campus users.
Construction of Hostels for the Students
To address this, my administration has done the following:
(a) Got the State government to fund the completion of the 74 bedroom Nursing Students Hostel at Orlu.
(b) Got the NDDC to commission its 174 bedroom hostel at the Lake Nwaebere campus. On the day of commissioning, I requested on behalf of the University, that NDDC provides the University with an internal link road between the campus and the hostel and a cafeteria for students use. This was unanimously approved by the Board at the site. Work on the internal link road has started, while efforts are being made on the cafeteria issue.
(c) Council has also initiated actions to get Felmore Construction Co. Nig. Limited to complete the students' hostel it signed agreement with University to build. My administration will, working with Council, ensure that the project is successfully completed.
(d) Management has had much discussion with some private developers and bankers who are interested in providing hostel facilities on BOT basis.
(e) Council within the period approved the purchase of 12 new vehicles for the University. These have been bought and distributed to faculties, units and departments with the most pressing need. I shall work with Council to provide transportation for other Deans, Directors and units in need.
ACADEMIC STANDARDS, STAFF TRAINING/RETRAINING
As a foremost academic and a trade unionist, I do understand the need for the maintenance of high standards within the university community. I do understand the essence of the proper incentivisation of the staff, particularly through regular payment of salaries and prompt sponsorship of staff and students to international and national conferences, workshops, and seminars. My administration has successfully, in the past 2 years,
(a) In collaboration with the TETFund research fund, sponsored over sixteen (16) members of staff for MSc and PhD programmes at both international and local universities. This is considered a necessary step towards the development of a virile and robust University.
(b) Have been able to employ sixteen (16) consultants at the College of Medicine, Orlu.
(c) Sponsored over fifty (50) staff academic and non-academic to various conferences.
(d) Employed about 140 new staff [academic] without increasing the wage bills.
ACCREDITATION OF PROGRAMMES
The accreditation of all courses on offer within the university is the priority of any serious thinking administration, mine not being an exception. Regrettably, most of the courses offered in this university have failed to meet the criteria for full accreditation by the relevant bodies.
- To this effect, my administration has spent a greater part of the past year carrying out an audit of such courses as well as documenting the requirements upon which the accreditation could be accorded.
- In line with the information emanating from such audits, the administration has vigorously pursued the timely completion of the Faculty of Law building to enable us re-present the faculty for accreditation in early 2015. This would enable us admit the best and brightest law students into our revered citadel of learning come 2014/2015 session.
- Under my leadership, the Centre for Igbo Studies has commenced operations. The centre which is intended to boost the propagation of Igbo culture, tradition and language among the younger generation has been applauded severally across the nation by traditional rulers, scholars, and interested parties alike. It has also received unprecedented support and sponsorship from such quarters.
- In the past one year, this university has received a 60-seater coach donation from one of the transport giants in the country- ABC Transport Company - for use by the Mechanical Automotive Engineering department.
INTERNAL REVENUE GENERATION
It has always been my candid opinion that universities should, to a great extent, be self-sustaining, financially.
I have always reiterated my plan to lay a solid foundation, upon the expiration of my tenure, which would ensure that the university would be able to generate a bulk of the entire resources for its operations through research outlets, endowments, alumni organisations, and partnerships/linkages with national and international organisations over a fifteen (15) year period.
Upon assumption of duty, it was discovered that the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine had been focusing more on the theoretical aspect rather than the practical aspect of its mandate. To put the faculty on a sound footing and to ensure that it serves not only as an institute for the propagation of knowledge, but also as a major income earner for the University, my administration has been able to:
- Increase the number of birds in the poultry section to such an extent that the poultry presently sells eggs and broilers to the University community and members of the general public as well;
- Increase the number of pigs in the piggery, triple-fold. As a result, products of the University piggery are now in the open market;
- Establish eight (8) fish ponds stocked with at least two thousand, four hundred fingerlings. The deplorable state of the University's fishponds was brought to the fore during the last accreditation exercise in the faculty. During this time, an individual's fish pond was presented to enable successful accreditation. It is expected that within the shortest possible time, these fish ponds would prove to be major income earners for the University as well as attract substantial investment;
- Develop paddocks for cows;
- Procure goats and rabbits in the university farms. It is instructive to note that prior to my appointment as Acting Vice-Chancellor, there was no livestock for use by those students and staff in the Animal Science Department. With the recent acquisition of livestock, it is hoped that all rabbits required for experiments by departments in the sciences and agricultural sciences shall be provided from our farms in the nearest future.
- Resuscitate our moribund feed mill on campus. This feed mill had remained neglected by previous administrations over the past decade. My administration has salvaged the feed mill and it is performing at optimal capacity presently. Upon the realisation of the place of such a feed mill in the drive for improved income generation, I shall remain committed to the continued expansion of this feed mill in the future, thus making the products available to the general public for purchase7 | Page
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Through my leverage as Immediate Past President of ASUU, I have attracted the assistance of TETFUND in the development of a 248 computer-capacity ICT Centre to make IMSU a CBT Centre, with Edu-Tech studios, Video Conferencing Centre, and subsequently, position, in such a manner that it assumes its top-ranking in ICT and general web presence.
With respect to the inherited challenges, we have provided support to the ICT Director and his team which has led to the execution of several ICT oriented projects, namely:
a) Management Information Administration: The establishment of an ICT Directorate which has effectively:
- Retrieved our lCT from vendors, Socket Works and Zellence. Today we have a standard e-library not only in the main but in some departmental libraries.
- Updated the ICT policy of the University to reflect a more comprehensive ICT posture, especially as it concerns giving direction in the area of communication through the reactivation of Wi-Fi systems, creating a bulk SMS system for Senate Affairs and Registry, re-invigorating periodic updates of the IMSU website, Commencement of the redesign and deployment of the New IMSU portal, hyperlinking of unit and payment portals, to the main portal.
- Collaborated in the development of a main situation report on the ICT sector and recommendations sent to the University's Governing Council for necessary action;
- Taken delivery of the deployment of e-learning facilities at the NITDA laboratory,
- Collapsed and transferred systems from Diamond Bank ICT centre to the NITDA Hall;
- Installation of furniture and network gear in the NITDA Hall;
- Reformulated the Computer Training Academy (CTA) Handbook; redesigned of programmes for the CTA, incorporated computer-based programmes for the departments of Mass Communication, Theatre Arts, and Library and Information science;
- Appointed Departmental Coordinators to oversee the various ICT sectors for enhanced operations and greater productivity;
- Commenced the digitisation of video resources at the IMSUTH library in Orlu;
- Animated the e-administration services in the University through the ICT centre;
- Acquired equipment for, and subsequently commenced in-house complete digitisation of University documents, beginning from the Vice-Chancellor's office.
b) Network and Online Services
- With the unalloyed support and leadership of the Pro-Chancellor, the Governing Council approved and acquired a 10mbps Visafone broadband for the University to link us to the backbone of the submarine 1cable. This 10mbps spectrum will enable us accomplish: an enhanced provision of campus-wide wifi services as eight masts and several radio peripherals have now been installed by the ICT directorate at the Lake Nwaebere and Orlu campuses; link up for video conferencing and audio streaming; and also to allow us take advantage of the massive online resources being offered to the University by the NUC, NgREN and other educational services.
- We have acquired the two (2) offshore dedicated servers for our online processes;
- The university website has been redesigned and we have initiated the process of populating the neighbourhood portals.
- The ICT directorate has, for the first time, by itself, deployed the PostUTME, PGS, Pre-Degree and ICEP portals for online registrations. It has also been able to utilise in-house resources in the conduct of such online registration exercises thus increasing the Returns on Investment (ROI) and making huge savings for the university.
- The ICT Units has conducted the PostUTME in both paper-based and CBT formats the first university in the South East to do so, in-house.
- There has also been a deployment of fixed wireless CUG Enterprise Solution phone/modem/radio systems, hence ensuring that for the first time, offices can have permanent phone numbers, and staff would not have to use their personal phones for the conduct of official business. The phone modems would also allow staff to be online real-time. This has brought about enhanced efficiency and improved communication channels between members of staff.
c) IMSU FM Studio Project:
- We have redesigned and transformed the Diamond Bank centre into a viable broadcast studio. It is now configured for the production of music and sound;
- We have acquired a National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) licence;
- We have procured and installed the digital broadcast equipment for the commencement of the station;
- The studio is about to commence test broadcast transmission, and is now positioned to provide the much needed practical training for Mass Communication, Theatre Arts and Information Science departments, respectively.
d) University Data Digitisation: Equipment and Staffing:
- The ICT directorate has procured three servers, fully configured them for the storage and retrieval of vital university data. Casual staff members have been retained to work in the digitisation projects. They are presently being assisted by members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other persons on IT.
- Regarding data digitisation, we have made rapid progress through the effective conduct of the Post UTME registration exercise, and the registration of the Postgraduate School, ICEP and Pre-Degree Admissions processes. Through these processes, we have acquired databases of our candidates as they enter the system.
- We have also received digital copies of all admission records for the 2012/2013 admission process from the office of the admissions director and have scanned them, logging them onto our system alongside similar data from the previous year.
- The ICT directorate, under my leadership has also sent out data-input forms and templates to the faculties, units and departments as a way of obtaining information from them, and to facilitate the deployment of their web-portals and modules, as well as ID cards.
- On the back-end process, data acquisition has commenced from the office of the vice chancellor where all closed files have been scanned and digitised from 2010.
- My administration has acquired and are presently deploying two hundred (200) computer systems in the main library of the Lake Nwaebere Campus and the Orlu Campus Library along with two (2) network servers to host the e-books and modules which we plan to install in them;
- We have installed a computerised library cataloguing software for the library system; as well as a KOHA-based Online Public Access Catalogue [OPAC] system.
- We have also commenced the acquisition of data for the virtual library system, by downloading online resources and e-books for deployment in our e-library networks;
- We have initiated the process of converting training modules from the IMSUTH VHS tape stock into DVD formats-to be deployed in the newly acquired one hundred (100) computer systems for the Orlu Medical College library;
- Furthermore, management under my leadership has been able to secure funds from TETFUND for the refurbishment and renovation of the Main library to conform to international standards.
The alumni community has remained a vital source of funding for several universities both within and outside Nigeria.
To this effect, my administration has initiated moves to encourage the setting up of an IMSU Alumni office and database within the University campus at Owerri. This would allow for the accuracies of information about graduates of the university who are spread across the globe and allow us to gain access to them.
The Alumni Association recently donated a battery of high-speed scanners to assist in the digitization of University documents and online transcript processing.
Medical Centre and Services
Prior to my assumption of office, the University Medical Centre had turned into a shadow of its old self. Medical examinations, tests and x-rays for our newly admitted students were outsourced to external vendors. Our students turned to private clinics within the Owerri metropolis for their medical needs.
Within the past year, I have embarked upon measures necessary for the resuscitation of the medical centre. It is my belief that within the next one year, all tests and medical examinations for our new intakes as well as old members of the University community would be conducted at the Medical Centre with the attendant revenue accruing directly to the university.
In catering for this eventuality, we have started building a new clinic with an increased number of bed spaces, to engage more doctors, nurses and other paramedicals.
- The Imo State University hosted the Medical Games in which medical students from 18 higher institutions in the country participated in the 15th biennial Nigerian Medical Students Association (NiMSA) Games tagged: "Imo 2014." When the medal chart was unveiled, IMSU topped the list with 61 points and got 11 gold, four silver and five bronze medals.
- Also the IMSU Debating Union has recorded these summary achievements: -
Champions, Nigeria Nationals in 2011; Finalists, Nigeria Nationals 2013, (there was none held in 2012); 3rd Place Team, ANUDC Finals 2013; Best Adjudicators, Nigeria Nationals 2013; Chair of Panels on various occasions at Nationals 2013.
At Africa level, the following: Broke 2 teams (out of 4) at Pan African Union Debating Championships [PAUDC] 2013; Quarterfinalists at PAUDC 2013; Top 5 Nigerian Best Speakers at PAUDC 2013; Chair of Panels on some occasions at PAUDC 2013; 3rd Place Team, Ghana Tertiary Debating Championship (GTDC); 3rd Best Debater, GTDC; Champion, Public Speaking Challenge, GTDC; Best Public Speaker, UNILAG 2015.
Updated on June 26, 2015
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Updated on June 26, 2015
The traditional definition of man as "Home Sapiens" has proven to be a misconception as history has shown. This is simply due to the fact that the greatest enemy of man is not the disease he faces, nor the natural factors he contends with, but man himself. Historically man has destroyed more men in history than any natural disaster, and has plundered his earthly abode to the point that his natural habitat is threatened. Considering these submissions, the definition of man as homo sapiens is no more appealing considering the not too farfetched facts that has has extolled all but what is reasonable in his existence, with his emotion playing a veritable role in his reasoning process, echoing the view of Derida, a thinker, which says that rationality has been thrown overboard in this age and time.
In this line of thought, we have come to realize that we are not so reasonable after all as the Eighteenth Century, with its worship of reason and its naive optimism thought us; hence recent thoughts inclines to designate our species as "Homo faber: Man the Maker. But though home faber may not be quite so deceptive as homo sapiens, as a name specific to us, making it less appropriate, when we see that many animals too are makers especially the termites who have built intelligent colonies. According to John Burke quoted by Bill Gate in his book, Business @ the speed of thought, "The moment man first picked up a stone or a branch to use as a tool, he altered irrevocably the balance between him and his environment ...While the number of these tools remained small, their effect took a long time to spread and to cause change. But as they increased, so did their effects, the more the tools, the faster the rate of change. From this we can see, the essential gulf between man and the latter is the sophisticated and numerous nature of his tools. Much more is the computer which I will call the master tool that has converged all tools into one, thereby spelling the fact that even though the termites and other beings are equally tool makers, with the discovery of the computer man has survived a world where the dinosaurs and the Euoplocephalus with far larger brain cavity could not survive.
The journey towards today's computer started with abacus in 80 BC, and also when Pythogoras gave the eternal insight that the content of the universe can be reduced to numbers, since then we have progressed from vacuum tubes to device with billion of electrical pathways processing and transmitting signals in less than one billionth of a second in a hyper treading technology. Though impressive but not comparable to over two billion neurons that controls human mental processes. For if man living to his true term of home faber, who have progressed from the stone age to the age of information technology, and his priced tool, the computer, to rival his natural intelligence and thinking pattern he would require a computer the size of a football field, except of course the miracle of miniaturization and convergence technology receives a celestial breakthrough. When this is attained perhaps 50 years from now or 100 years. According to. Sydney J. Harris. The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. This saying is supported by the fact that how we work, how we live and even the way we think is constrained by the tools that we use as a being that his tools have defined his essential character as homo faber. Explaining it with a very simple example, as an adult in the world today, we do not have to write anything at all. We just type everything. So, there is really no more call for proper handwriting. More frightening is the fact that many of us cannot do a simple arithmetic without the calculator.
BASIC TERMS AND CONCEPTS
The essential trajectories of this writes up are: Computer, Information Technology, Communication Technology, Education. Each one of these issues are ripe enough to present a paper for a university thesis.
The basic definition which every kindergartens would define is that the computer is an electronic device which is capable of accepting data, process it to produces information. This definition is so elementary and simplistic and have been overtaking with man's progress in computerization. This is because it presupposes garbage in garbage out, but we all know that in today's progress in software technology, garbage in and garbage out concept is no more tenable because computers of today are extremely intelligent and capable of sieving data and rejecting garbage as errors from the point of data entry. For the purpose of this paper I would define the computer as a device which functions by means of programmed software that is capable of performing an assigned task through controlled processes by human, other computer or micro controllers. A common example of this is when an auto-pilot in an aircraft takes over the piloting of an airplane. Computer does this and its other similar functions by means of pattern recognition technology which it reduces to arithmetic and logical codes in binary and hexadecimal signals for processing as electrical pulses and signals and translate them back as intelligent signals and patterns for onward analysis.Information Technology: This is simply the use of computer and other relevant software and peripherals in the management of information within an organization. In most cases this computers are connected to a local area network (LAN) by means of switches, cables and software protocols.
Communication Technology: This is the technology and its related infrastructures that ensures that data, preferably voice is transmitted from one geographical location to another. These transmissions more than the other depend on heavy outdoor infrastructures and equipment. Before the merging of information technology and communication technology called telecommunication into one in 1952, 3000 BC Sumerian writing system uses pictographs to represent words. This language also contains elements of early forms of phonetic indicators used to indicate the pronunciation of a word and to allow a pictograph to represent more than one word when each incorporates a different phonetic indicator.
CHANEL OF COMMUNICATION
Electromagnetic Spectrum: This consists of fields of electrical energy and magnetic energy which travel in waves. In the middle of this, is the radio frequency spectrum that carry communication signals with a range of it called a band or bandwith moving data from place to place by mean of broad band. The wider the band the faster data can be transmitted. This bandwith can be transmitted through wired or wireless channels. Wires are cables of different types and capabilities, wireless could be in the form of super high frequency called micro waves operating at an assigned frequency or short range waves that transmits at different and varied frequencies.
THE POWER OF ICT
With the computer and its associated tools, homo faber can attempt ambitious projects like the ITER fusion which is being finance by 71 countries around the world to generate energy 10 times hotter than that being generated by the sun on earth in laboratory that is undergoing construction at the cost of over 70 billion dollars that would be operational in 2025. Also with information and communication technology we have succeeded in mapping the human genome which was completed in April 2003, this project gave man the ability, for the first time, to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for building a human being thereby spelling possibility cloning and curing of terminal diseases.
When man went to the moon, it took many lunar engineer several years to design the spacecraft, but today with our integrated software technologies like Simulink all we need is two weeks to achieve similar feat. It is a known fact that NASA space mission was one of the driving force that led to the development of the integrated circuit, (microprocessor) where all the components of a system can be put on a chip rather than having a board stuffed with individual transistors and other circuit components. This gave birth to our today's technology which has found itself in our mobile devices, household equipment, transportation mediums and interestingly moving into our biological systems in the form of bionic devices to assist the less privileged. Also, the assembling of the Space Station in Orbit has given man the power to adapt the robotic assemblage of that station to micro surgery to operate on sensitive human organs. The next ambitious project is the mapping of the human brain which stated in this decade with the sole aim of unlocking its secret perhaps this might take us back to the garden of Eden. in this new garden God does not need to place a flaming sword before man that would deny him again the journey towards immortality. (Gen. 3:24). All these are possible because of the ability of the computer to provide a simulated environment which is replica of the natural environment through some specialized simulated software technologies.
RELEVANCE OF ICT IN LEARNING AND RESEARCH
Reinventing the Wheel
"Reinvent the Wheel" is a phrase that people use to telling other people not to do work that has already been done by someone else. This is as a result of the fact that reinventing, or recreating the wheel makes absolutely no sense since somebody has already done the work. This is phrase is timely, considering the fact that as a result of the presence of search engines in the internet like google.com, ask.com, altervista.com, yahoo search we would know where we can start or research from without duplicating what others have done. This is not to say that we are liberty to copy the works of others, however, in as much as we can get materials online through the world wide web which connects millions of computers around the world in a web like format searching for information we must acknowledge the availability of several online plagiarism checker on the internet to checkmate this when this work is submitted for serious academic purposes.
With ICT we have unlimited access to data more than before. This gives us the power of relational data base capability. In split seconds we can compare different data variables and present them in graphical format for easy analysis and understanding.
New Social Ecology
Today we leave in a world of technological social ecology where social media like Face book, twitters, WhatsApp play a crucial role in the education and influence of our upcoming generations and connects us to several individuals around the globe. All these are possible because of the prevalence of ICT and its associated technologies in all our devices. We must examine and be aware of their attendant risks and harness the advantages it presents.
Provision of e-Learning Platforms
There are various e-learning tools presented by information and communication technology: e-library, open school or distance learning, blended learning, teleconferencing and webcasting and podcasting, audio conferencing, video conferencing, web based conferencing, teleconferencing, school broadcasting, and similar technologies. Let us dwell a bit on these components of ICT educational tools.
E-Library: This is online repository of intellectual documents in electronic formats. This may either come in PDF(Portable Document Format), Microsoft Word format or any other universally acceptable format that is downloadable.
Open school or distance learning: This is when lecture materials are published in a school portal to be accessed by registered students at their own convenience.
Blended learning: This refers to learning models that combines traditional classroom practice with e-learning solutions like charts, power point presentation, and email lists. This web base training can be strengthened by once in a while meeting and interactions between students and instructors.
Teleconferencing: This involves the transmission of text and graphics, audio and visual media via the internet; it involves the use of a computer with a browser and other communication equipment. This technology is a useful tool for providing direct instruction and learning support thereby reducing learner isolation.
Webcasting/podcasting: This is the recording of audiovisual resources by a teacher which is hosted on a portal for students to access beyond classroom settings. A podcast or webcast file can be in WAV, MP3, MP4, MPEG1, etc.
Game Based Learning: A cutting edge technique to the use ICT in education, a number of key educationalists and teachers are beginning to explore game based learning solutions. This concerns the use of electronic games in the educational environment to develop learning. Games can provide learning situations that develops a wide range of skills including problem solving, creation of ideas as well as enhanced communication and collaboration between groups of learners. It has also been discovered that games such as historical simulations can also support knowledge development. The benefits this techniques has been found to be immediate. Learners are stimulated by this use of technology to the point of excitement and the results can be astounding; they often don't want lessons to end and will work after school to develop their ideas and thinking. Many teachers comment on the positive change in behaviour. However this games have to be carefully chosen and integrated into planned learning in a meaningful context and without the teacher at the centre guiding the pupils the whole enterprise might be wasted. But as games gradually become one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world then the world of education should deem it appropriate to look for the educational potential in this vibrant and exciting arena.
ADVANCED APPLICATIONS OF ICT
This are machines that can carry out intelligent tasks under a strong preprogrammed format. In fact, the use of robots in various technological tasks is quite encouraging and its applications in various fields of human activities as one of Homo Faber's pricest tools is growing by day. In the near future it could replace teachers in our classrooms with a scenario where a student can communicate with it and chose what he or she wants to study.
A distributed system consists of a collection of autonomous computers linked by a computer network and equipped with distributed system software. This software enables computers to coordinate their activities and to share the resources of the system hardware, software, and data. Users of a distributed system should perceive a single, integrated computing facility even though it may be implemented by many computers in different locations. In functions in Local-area networks, Wide-area networks environment. However, today there is more call for intranet over internet as a result of security issues and challenges the latter presents.
Information technology has taken artificial intelligence to a higher level by setting up neural networks inspired by the behaviour of neurons and the electrical signals they convey between input (such as from the eyes or nerve endings in the hand), processing, and output from the brain (such as reacting to light, touch, or heat). The way neurons semantically communicate is an area of ongoing research. Most artificial neural networks bear only some resemblance to their more complex biological counterparts, but are very effective at their intended tasks (e.g. classification or segmentation). Simply defined in information technology, a neural network is a system of programs and data structures that approximates the operation of the human brain. A neural network usually involves a large number of processors operating in parallel, each with its own small sphere of knowledge and access to data in its local memory, machine learning, artificial neural networks (ANNs) are a family of statistical learning algorithms inspired by biological neural networks (the central nervous systems of animals, in particular the brain) and are used to estimate or approximate functions that can depend on a large number of inputs required in this artificial systems .
In present day scientific research, the preference of simulation based laboratories to the conventional physical laboratories is no more under question. Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. The act of simulating something first requires that a model be developed; this model represents the key characteristics or behaviors/functions of the selected physical or abstract system or process. There are lots of simulation software that would enable us to capture, analyze and make decisions. ICT provides opportunities to access an abundance of information using multiple information resources and viewing information from multiple perspectives, thus fostering the authenticity of learning environments. ICT may also make complex processes easier to understand through simulations that, again, contribute to authentic learning environments.
PROSPECT AND CHALLENGES OF ICT AS A BASIC TOOL
From experience we know that ICT changes the characteristics of problems and learning tasks, and hence play an important task as mediator of cognitive development, enhancing the acquisition of generic cognitive competencies as essential for life in our knowledge based society. Students using ICTs for learning purposes become immersed in the process of learning and as more and more students use computers as information sources and cognitive tools (Reeves and Jonassen, 1996), the influence of the technology on supporting how students learn will continue to increase in with the presence of necessary conditions. Hence, the need for training and retraining of teachers and instructure. However, it may not be sufficient to simply provide training for teachers alone, some experts advocate that ICT training be extended to educational administrators: it has been identified that lack of teacher's technology training has been the failure of most schools trying to grasp technology and harness the power that technology can bring to the classroom. However, successful technology training can be accomplished only through effective administrative leadership These leaders must be knowledgeable in the use of technology and must show support by providing access to the equipment and other materials necessary for successful integration. Even more vital than ICT training for teachers and administrators, there is a continuing need to employed qualified teachers with ICT knowledge to staff schools. Thus teachers and administrator must know how to use these resources:. Email, websites, desktop videoconferencing, utilization of other online resources, technologies and applications..
Shifting of Knowledge Space
In a globalized knowledge society, there are arguably new and more complex interactions between individuals and the tools of information and communication technology as the existing technologies alters "the process of information processing, act upon all domains of human activity and make it possible to establish endless connections between different domains as well as between elements and agents of such activities" (Castells, 2000, p. 65). From practical examples we would see that variables of learning that confronts us has shifted, our children are much more intelligent than us when it comes to the application of these technologies. This calls for urgent revision of our systems of impacting knowledge.
New Breed of Professionals
The development of information technology has resulted in new breeds of professional that cuts across various disciplines and orientations. This has put additional demand on our educational and learning systems visibly signaling that the days of intellectual myopia or what I would call lineal intellectualism is gradually becoming over. The challenges of ICT demands that for any scholar to the relevant in this age he or she must have the basic skill to survive in an ICT driven world where educational convergence made it relevant for us all to be abreast with happenings in the intellectual world of today. Who says that a professor of religious studies should not be an expert in using the tools of ICT for studies, nor a student of languages should not use google translation, or a Professor who is supervising a Doctorate student should not use an online plagiarism checker to scrutinize the authenticity of his student's research, who also says that that a medical doctor using a highly complex medical equipment should not have knowledge of the electronic working of the system or better still be an expert in medical engineering.
To be continued in next edition
Kenneth Ukwuegbu is the Portal and Networking coordinator, IMSU ICT.
Updated on June 26, 2015
Twenty years from now
You will be more disappointed
By the things that you didn't do
Than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
You see things; and you say, "Why?"
But I dream things that never were;
And I say, "Why not?"
-George Bernard Shaw
Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights
That can't be scaled by a man
Who knows the secrets of making dreams come true.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
He will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
-Henry David Thoreau
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Always dream and shoot higher than you know how to.
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.
Try to be better than yourself.
Trust in dreams,
for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
There is nothing like a dream to create the future.
Dreams come true;
without that possibility,
nature would not incite us to have them.
Nothing happens unless first we dream.
Updated on June 26, 2015
I started at GENESIS passing through EXODUS when I saw LEVITICUS taking the number of Israelites at DEUTERONOMY to JOSHUA, who was waiting at the gate of JUDGES.
Suddenly RUTH ran along calling SAMUEL; SAMUEL, the first and second KINGS in the first and second CHRONICLES are coming to see you concerning the wall of Jerusalem which EZRA and NEHEMIAH had decided to rebuild.
Queen ESTHER was busy advising JOB to stop weeping but rather sing PSALMS in PROVERBS to the ECCLESIASTES or even SONGS OF SOLOMON.
Prophet ISAIAH consoled JEREMIAH, who engaged in LAMENTATIONS because EZEKIEL refused to tell him the visions of DANIEL, but rather took it to HOSEA who was seen inquiring from JOEL, AMOS and OBADIAH the whereabouts of the wayward wife.
Seeing the troubles, JONAH decided to run away. He entered the same boat with MICAH and ZEPHANIAH the companion of HAGGAI that the Lord will surely restore his people according ZECHARIAH.
Then MALACHI caught a vision from the Lord which he passed down to MATHEW; MARK, LUKE and JOHN who understood it and wrote it down differently.
This caused the different ACTS OF THE APOSTLES which were reported to the ROMANS, who decided to consult First and Second CORINTHIANS. Not knowing they were having problems in bewitching the foolish GALATIANS at the EPHESIANS church. The PHILIPIANS watched with interest while the COLOSSIAN were discouraged; the First and Second THESSALONIANS decided to leave them and go to First and Second TIMOTHY, the brothers of TITUS who was seen teaching a friend PHILEMON the HEBREW language in Brother JAMES house. Suddenly I heard first and Second PETER calling JOHN, JOHN, JOHN, tell JUDE your REV-ELATION.
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