Onwubere makes case for Port Harcourt centre’s exam equipment

By Joel Nkanta
Onwubere (1st right) and Ettu (at the back) observing students as they write exams

A former Head of Department, Department of Mass Communication, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Chidinma Henrietta Onwubere, has described the administration of the ongoing 2024_1 e-examination at Port Harcourt Study Centre, Port Harcourt Rivers State, as very well-conducted but decried the hugeness of the number of computer systems that are not functioning.

Onwubere made her views known to NOUN News after she had monitored the conduct of the first session of the exams on Friday, 21st June, 2024, at the Centre.

The communication expert observed that the students were very orderly in behaviour just as the invigilators were adequate but noted that “a huge number of the computer systems were not functional.

 “The students with whom I interacted said they were very much okay. I personally felt that the texts were faint on the system because I was straining my eyes to see the words, but the students said they were okay with that. I even specifically went to a very elderly person and asked him whether he could see the texts, he replied that he could see them very well.

The assessment observer stated further that she noted that the exams halls were not filled to capacity while students were still being batched. When she inquired of the Centre Director, she was shown that a large number of the computers were not functional and therefore could not be used for the exams, hence the batching.

Onwubere opined that the number of invigilators deployed for the exams was adequate. “I, however, noticed that one of the invigilators was missing in one of the halls. When I questioned her whereabouts, I was told that she went downstairs to attend to one visually impaired candidate. I went down and found that it was true. There was a visually impaired student who needed special attention downstairs.

PH Centre

The professor, who was warmly received by the Centre Director, Dr. Theresa Ucheoma Ettu, promised to make a case for the centre regarding the large number of unusable computers, which she described as worrisome, in her report to management. She expressed optimism that management would do something about the situation.

Onwubere requested that Ettu should make available for her the accurate statistics of the broken down computer systems to enable her make a well informed report to management on “that very worrisome situation.”

She said that wherever she had gone on exams monitoring at previous times and made a report to management concerning any issue that needed attention, management has always been prompt to intervene. “Such places include Lagos and Port Harcourt here.