The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) has held its virtual postgraduate students’ orientation ceremony on Monday, 6th March 2023, at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Headquarters, Abuja.
The 2022/2023 first (1st) semester orientation program, which is scheduled to run for five (5) days, is the fifth (5th) orientation ACETEL has organized for its students
The Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, Prof. Olufemi Peters, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Administration, Prof. Isaac Butswat, in his remarks, congratulated and welcomed the newly admitted students, he stated that ACETEL provides scholarship for students across Africa to support the emergence of highly skilled African youths and develop the capacity of Africans to train and nurture graduates with relevant skills.
He said, the programme has also offered partial support to students in the West African sub – region.
“Students are drawn from Ghana, Gambia, Cameroon Uganda, North Kore, USA, and Canada.” He said.
Prof. Butswat, noted that ACETEL programmes aims at transforming students into innovative leaders, who will capitalize Africa’s growth and development.
Speaking further, he told the students that they will be exposed to critical thinking as they start their journey.
“Sub – Saharan Africa needs you to be innovative in providing solutions to the challenges facing the continent in general and the education sector in particular.”
The VC further expressed hope that the students will achieve a hundred per-cent (100%) completion rate and make it to the graduation list in due time.
He pledged the university management’s continuous support for ACETEL and promised to create an enabling environment for its clients and staff.
Earlier, the Director, ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, in her welcome address, noted that the newly admitted students will be the (5th) set of students the centre will be having since the inception of the ACETEL programme. She congratulated the students for their success in the admission process.
She said “in terms of enrollment and skill based short programmes, the centre has , over the period of its inception, been able to have short courses, to meet the skill based gaps observed within the society.”
“And so, over this three years that it’s been in operation, we have been able to train about two thousand eight hundred students (2800) students and staff in the area of ICT.”
She urged the incoming students to take advantage of the presence of the courses to be able to build their skill gaps.
“We, in terms of students enrollment so far have about two hundred and sixteen (216) students that are made up of national and regional students.”
She also mentioned that currently, the centre has admitted about 47 students for various programmes that the centre is running.
Prof. Jokthan intimated the students that some of their fellow counterparts will be from other parts of the world and some from Nigeria.
“You have organizations as well as facilitators from all over the world and within the country contributing to the activities of the centre, this will give unparallelled access to diversity to the students while they study at ACETEL.”
“In terms of intellectual experience, there is a faulty in the university that provides the staff that are well experienced to guide students through their academic programmes, in addition we also have facilitators from other universities.
Enlightening the students of necessary information, she told them that they will be having their supervisors from across the globe. This she said is part of the support students will get, to ensure they have a very good experience.
She said the industrial experts are also available to guide students to receive training on hands – on skills required to produce graduates that are fit for purpose.
Prof. Jokthan highlighted the various opportunities available for students at the center, such as; Internship, Learning Visits, Student Exchange, Conferences and Workshops to be sponsored by the centre, Research for MSc and PhD levels and Scholarship to be granted if the criteria is met.
She particularly charged female students to take advantage of the opportunities and apply.
Prof. Jokthan described ACETEL as a centre that provides outstanding opportunities and support for professional and academic career.
Jokthan assured students of uninterrupted services and graduation at the expected period, without delay.
She took the students on a virtual tour of NOUN, with a video which showed the ambience of the university environment, the departments, faculties, the Library and other notable places.
The university management was also introduced beginning with the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters.
A cross – section of NOUN graduating students was also displayed.
On the tour, ACETEL was displayed, showing the office space where various activities take place, with the centre been described as a centre assisted by the World Bank and supported by the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the National Universities commission (NUC), ACETEL was also described as the centre for excellence which focuses on the development of human capacity and research in digital solutions that would lead to the utilization of technology for education and its deployment to other sectors and also introducing the programmes being run by ACETEL.
Presentations were delivered by different speakers from ACETEL, on various topics such as; Learning in an ODL Institution, Students’ Learning Environment, Students’ Result Verification, Project Supervision and Internship, Brief on Various Programmes, Role of ACETEL Administrative Unit, The Academic Calendar, Examination and Assessment.
Prof. Jokthan, along with some other ACETEL staff members who gave presentation, answered questions raised by students, which they properly answered, making sure the students have the right information.
Goodwill messages were given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Prof. Uduma O. Uduma and the Dean, School of Post-Graduate Studies Prof. Chiedu Mafiena.
While giving the vote of thanks, the Deputy Director ACETEL, Dr. Johnson Opateye, appreciated the Vice Chancellor, for his support and courage to the centre to continuously move the centre forward. He thanked the DVC Admin, Prof. Isaac Butswat, the DVC Academic, Prof. Uduma O. Uduma for their support and patience throughout the ceremony. He thanked ACETEL centre Director Prof. Grace Jokthan, for moving the centre forward.