Calabar centre intensifies advocacy campaign with visits to Air Force Base, NYSC, others

By Joel Nkanta
calabar adcovacycy

The Base Commander, 305 Special Mobility Group, Nigerian Air Force Base, Calabar, Cross River State, Air Commodore Olushola Bamidele, has charged officers and men of his formation to embrace the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of learning as championed by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to update their academic standing and self development.

Bamidele made the charge when the advocacy team of the Calabar Study Centre of NOUN visited the military formation on Thursday, February 17, 2022, to preach the gospel of ODL to the Air Force personnel.

The Air Force chief, who was visibly elated by the visit of the NOUN delegates, pledged to encourage his officers and men to take advantage of an array of academic programmes offered by the university to update their academic status.

Earlier, Mr. Matthew Akpan, Principal Assistant Registrar of the centre, who led the advocacy Team, had given a brief history of NOUN, made a presentation on the programmes offered by the university as well as explained the advantages military personnel have in enrolling for programmes at the university, especially as regards their random movements and transfers.

Akpan’s presentation elicited a myriad of questions from the military personnel, who also were satisfied with all the answers provided by the NOUN team.

Responding on behalf of the officers and men of the 305 SMG of the Nigerian Air force, Calabar, Flight Lieutenant O. Ugwuoke thanked the delegation for bringing the advocacy campaign to their formation, and commended NOUN for making education accessible to all Nigerians “even to their doorsteps.”

Ugwuoke reiterated the base commander’s pledge to encourage the personnel of Nigerian Air Force, especially in Calabar, “to take advantage of this modern mode of study to update themselves academically.”

In his vote of thanks, the operations officer of the group, Squadron Leader A. B. Gadzama, implored his colleagues in the force to seize the opportunity made available by NOUN to enroll at the university, adding that the officers and men should take responsibility of furthering their education no matter the challenges they may be having.

While the team was at the Air Force Base, another advocacy team led by Mrs. Ann Owan, Store Officer, was at the Cross River State Secretariat of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to mount an enlightenment campaign on the merits and operations of the university.

Owan, at the NYSC Secretariat, explained the advantages of enrolling at NOUN for an academic programme, and projected the flexibility of operations as a major advantage of enrolment.

Questions were raised by members of the audience and answers were satisfactorily given.

The Assistant Director, Human Resources, Mr. Abel Udofia, who received the NOUN delegation on behalf of the State Coordinator, Mr. Zemoh Andrew, expressed delight at the visit of the NOUN advocacy team and urged his colleagues to key into the academic programmes of the university.

The advocacy train also berthed at the Government College, Calabar, where the college principal, Mrs. Priscilla Ojar, along with her vice-principal, Mrs. Onen Solomon, who received the delegation, expressed her willingness to encourage both her teaching and non-teaching staff who have interest in furthering their studies to do so at NOUN.

On a similar outing, the advocacy team of the Calabar Study Centre also visited the Immaculate Conception Primary School, Ikot Ansa, Calabar, to sensitise both the teaching and non-teaching staff of the institution on the operation of the National Open University of Nigeria and its programmes.

The advocacy team was received by the Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Theresa Okon Effiong, who assembled all the staff of the school for the sensitisation exercise.

Effiong, after the presentation of the advocacy team, urged members of her staff to take advantage of the presence of NOUN in the city of Calabar to upgrade themselves academically.

She promised to support all her staff, who may decide to enroll at NOUN for any of available programmes, especially those related to education, and arrange their schedule in a way that their studies may not infringe on their official duties.

The headmistress testified how she was able to complete her Master in Education (Education Administration and Planning) at the Calabar Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).

At the end of the interaction, advocacy souvenirs were presented to both the headmistress and her deputy.