Start well, finish strong, Ettu charges Port Harcourt centre students

By Joel Nkanta
Cross-section of students during the event at the PH centre

The Director, Port Harcourt Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Dr. Theresa Ettu, has tasked students of her centre to start well and finish strong on their academic programmes.

Ettu made the charge during the Exams Briefing/Students' Forum organised by the centre for its students on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in preparation for the forthcoming 2024_1 Pen-on-Paper (PoP) and e-exams in May and June, 2024.

The Centre Director, who is also a counsellor, admonished both fresh and returning students to make positive adjustments and make up their minds to begin well with a clear picture of the grade of degree they aspire to earn at the end of their programmes.

She said that the freshmen had opportunity to configure and put in proper perspectives what they envision to achieve in the university, while those who have already begun on a shaky footing still have opportunity to make positive adjustments to run well and finish strong.


Ettu said that some of the indications that a student has begun well include ensuring that proper choice is made of programme of study in line with entry qualification, and that the right personal details and appropriate pictures are uploaded on the students' portal.

Other indications, she said, are that the student should personally attempt his/her Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs) and not contract them out to vendors; the student is familiar with all NOUN websites and online links to an extent that they are able to register, pay appropriate fees, process and perform most of their academic activities personally even in the comfort of their homes with their android smart phones.

The director reminded her audience that the academic programmes of NOUN are very tasking and require full commitment and concentration. 

She added that any student who passes through NOUN programmes and graduate with good grades deserves commendation. "Such a person is not a mediocre and there is no interview in any part of the world that they cannot pass. You must remember that NOUN certificate is recognised all over the world."

Charging students to take full responsibility of their studies, Ettu said "NOUN academic programmes are do-it-yourself programmes because 70% of all you need to succeed is in your hand. That is why the motto of the university is 'Learn at any place at your own pace'."

She said that finishing well and finishing strong means graduating with a good grade that would make further academic pursuit or employability possible.

Other members of staff who took turns to address the students included the Chief Accountant, Mr. Felix Chegwe, the Senior Assistant Registrar, Mrs. Mary Bassey, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mba Onuoha, the Senior Counsellor, Mr. Udo Ndaeyo Okobo, and the ICT Officer, Mr. Ifeanyi.

Concerns raised by students during the questions and answers session included lecturers not being available during facilitation sessions, the possibility of physical contact to complement e-facilitation, paucity of printed study materials and clashes on facilitation schedules.

Other issues raised were facilitators deliberately adjusting facilitation sessions to suit them to the detriment of students as well as need for a comfortable place to study while waiting for their exams sessions.