First class possible if you shun cultism, exam malpractice – Varsity don tells UNIZIK students

Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Rev. Fr. Prof. Chijioke Obiefuna has urged fresh students of Economics Department of the institution to eschew all forms of cultism and examination malpractices as they target graduating with first class. 

He also challenged them to learn skills to be better individuals to themselves, their parents and society at large. 

The cleric who spoke during the undergraduate students orientation held at the new Faculty of Social Sciences auditorium, further urged the students to be creative, develop positive attitude, plan to join professional bodies and have mentors for brighter future.

Obiefuna who was former Director of School of General Studies lauded the Head of Department of Economics, Dr Amaka Metu for the ingenuity in organizing the orientation ceremony. 

He said, “Maximize the golden opportunity as new students by turning your potentials into skills that can be valuable and marketable rather than indulging in frivolities. 

“Be disciplined, be focused, be result oriented, manage your time and money, let your aim be to graduate with first class, never cheat in examinations, study hard and success is yours. 

“Do your assignment when you should, submit it when you are supposed to, attend your lectures, never get discouraged because you failed a course. Always read self-help books. Have positive self esteem, be goal oriented. You can, if you think you can”.

Earlier, Head of Department of Economics, Dr Amaka Metu stated the programme was informed by growing depletion of values, character, moral and ethics in the society which was transmitted into university. 

“The Department provided this platform and other platforms as a veritable means to re-orientate the minds of students. It is also an opportunity to engage with them, discuss pertinent issues and advise them appropriately. 

“I appreciate our resource persons for being with us in this orientation. We have many topics and I know they will do justice to whatever topic we have given to them. So be attentive,” she said.

Declaring the event open, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Frank-Collins Okafor charged the new students to be mindful of their studies while learning skills, just as he encouraged them to resist all forms of distractions.

“You have to remain focused in order to achieve your dreams. Whatever you want to do, do it well, because you don’t know where your saviour will come from. If you have carryover, ensure you meet your HOD and lecturer for advice,” he stressed.

A guest speaker, Dr Mrs Chiazor Anyachebelu, a Chief Medical Officer in the Medical Center of University advised the students to know the basics of healthy living which include; cleanliness of their rooms and hostels, staying in well ventilated room, engaging in regular exercises, taking enough water, breaking of fast before going out, good sleep, among others.

“Year one is the most difficult level in the university because of registration processes. I advise you to be serious, so it will not affect your performance. Don’t forget that cheating attracts expulsion,” she added.

Another guest speaker and Head of Department, Banking and Finance, Dr Gideon Ezu who spoke on result computation urged the students to commit enough time in their studies in order to attain good grades especially in courses with high credit load. 

While displaying a demo template of result computation using the university grading system, Ezu advised the students to work hard and eschew every form of distraction in order to graduate from the university with good grades.

A lecturer in the Department of Applied Microbiology and brewing, Miss Josephine Ohuche intimated the freshmen on university ethics and approved dress code for the students. 

According to her, the university ethics include but not limited to; “No threats, no intimidation, no bullying, no fighting, no impersonation or forging of documents, no wearing of transparent dress that shows sexual organs, no wearing of tattered jeans with holes, among others. 

Miss Oduche who also doubles as the Faculty of Biosciences representative in the University dress code and ethics committee encouraged the students to strive for excellence in their academics while also making commitment to moral rectitude and good character. 

She informed the students of penalties for defaulters which include suspension, expulsion, fine as well as community service and apology.

Another University Don and Director of Center for Counseling and Career Development, Prof. Harry Obi-Nwosu who spoke on academic success and career development advised the students to participate effectively in career development courses offered by the University as it would assist them in developing their career goals and priorities. 

In her presentation, Dr Chiamaka Joe-Akunne who is also the Faculty of Social Sciences career development officer encouraged the students to do their assignments themselves, stressing that it would help them understand it better. 

She added, “If you don’t do well in your first year, don’t lose hope. Peer group influence kills, be positive in a circle or exit the circle, don’t frolic in a circle that is not healthy. Engage in a circle that is healthy, meditate in everything”. 

According to her, the keys to academic success include responsibility, discipline, and time management, among others. She urged the students to avoid procrastination, create time and abide by it, prepare for exams ahead and be present and prompt during examinations.

Similarly, Dr Alexander Orji of the Department of Economics who spoke on education, skill and vocational experience highlighted the importance of skill acquisition and vocational education. 

According to him, combining formal education with informal/vocational education will enhance the students’ job opportunities, create entrepreneurs and reduce graduate unemployment. Dr Orji urged the students to take advantage of the various opportunities available to them to acquire vocational skills.

Also speaking, an alumnus of the Department and former Security personnel in the University’s Security Department, Mr Ben Ndibe warned the students to avoid parties because of initiation ceremonies particularly with unknown people. He advised the students to be security conscious and report every security threat to the appropriate authority.

Adviser to the organizing committee and a former Head of the Department of Economics, Dr Uju Ezenekwe, in her closing remarks, advised the students to take what they learnt seriously, describing it as a guide to be a better person tomorrow. 

“Our dressing code is important, dress how you want to be addressed. I am sure you will not forget what you learnt today because I believe we are catching you young. You have seen one of us here from apprentice to a lecturer. I believe when your set will be graduating, we will beat our chest and say that we have trained people,” she added.

The convener of the event, Mr Chiemezie Ukeje thanked the guest lecturers for honouring the invitation and motivating the freshmen from their wealth of experience and exposure. He also appreciated the co-convener, Dr Joan Ozoh and other members of the Organizing Committee for their contributions in ensuring that the event was a success.  

Reacting to the lectures, one of the students, Master Stanley Emeka, appreciated the organizers of the event as it was apt and timely. He believes that the orientation programme will assist the freshmen transition successfully to the university and further provide them with tips and strategies to improve their academics.

The undergraduate orientation, a first of its kind in the Department of Economics, attracted academics and dignitaries from within and outside the Department including the Sub Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr Kelechi Osai and others too numerous to mention.  

The high point of the occasion was the question and answer session where a student, Miss Nakolisa Sochi of the Department of Economics answered correctly the question on the role and relevance of Economists. This attracted an appreciation gift from one of the guest lecturer, Prof Harry Obi-Nwosu. In the same vein, Rev. Fr. Prof. BAC Obiefuna equally appreciated Miss Sochi and all the first-year students from Agulu with cash gifts.

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