…describes dishonesty and lack of diligence in academic activities as killer vices
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Paul University, Awka, Anambra State, Prof. Stella Okunna has decried decreasing commitment and dedication to studies among undergraduates in tetiary institutions across the country.
She described dishonesty and lack of diligence in academic activities as killer vices, urging students to desist from such to avert future regrets.
Okunna spoke during the 23rd Annual International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the African Council For Communication Education, ACCE at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, themed, “Communicating Science, Technology and Innovation in times of Economic Distress,Terror and Pandemic.”
She insisted that diligence still paid off in academic world despite various forms of examination malpractices and other short cuts to success.
She said, “I hear that some of you are not writing or publishing any materials nor attending any conferences. During our time, emphasis was on single author publication.
“Nowadays, I hear ten of you writing one paper. Some don’t even contribute any idea, yet their names are included. You are killing yourselves.
“I’m also aware of honest ones among you who are making us proud. Academic is a field where diligence is rewarded. I urge you to rise to your profession with honest diligence.”
Okunna who chaired the ocasion lauded the organisers for the choice of the theme which she described as timely in view of prevailing economic distress, terror and pandemic challenges facing the country, expressing hope that the conference would address the challenges.
National President, ACCE, Prof Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu blamed Nigeria’s continued struggle in its developmental march to science, technology and innovation on her inability to mainstream communication in her growth processes.
“Nigeria as a country of many paradoxical conditions being worsened by bouts of banditry and political mismanagement can find solution in science, technology and innovation of which the ACCE will lead in the discourse of its developmental role.
“The conference seeks to explore ways journalism, broadcasting, new media and public relations can effectively play their roles in the nation’s development process,” he added.
Vice-Chancellor, UNIZIK, Prof Charles Esimone lamented that many countries, including Nigeria were still lagging behind in all indices of development amidst abundant natural and human resources.
Esimone, represented by his Deputy in charge of administration, Prof Joseph Ikechebelu, was however optimistic that the conference would come up with recommendations that could address the situation.
Describing communication as life -wire of any community, the VC thanked the ACCE leadership for honouring his university with the hosting right for the Conference, pledging the institution’s continued willingness to provide platforms for gainful engagements that would better lots of the citizenry.
In his paper presentation, lead speaker, Dr Herbert Batta, underscored the importance of science communication in Nigeria, which he said was integral in attaining sustainable development goals.
“Science communication aims at sharing recent findings and excitement about science, increasing public appreciation for science, increasing knowledge and understanding of science among other objectives,” he added.
Also speaking, former National President of the Council, Prof Danjuma Dambo, from University of Maiduguri, described ACCE as a flagship of communication community in Nigeria with a continental recognition as well as a leading position to lead discussions on communication and change generally.
Earlier in his welcome address, Head of Department, Mass Communication, UNIZIK, Dr Cornelius Ukwueze, said the conference theme was timely considering the enormous roles communication play in mitigating the identified challenges as they affect Nigeria, Africa continent and the world.
“Effective use of communication through professional reportage can set the agenda for economic development, reduce terrorism, banditry, kidnappings and other security challenges as well as intervene in the global health pandemic outbreaks,” he added.
The conference which featured investiture of inaugural Fellows of ACCE and induction of new members, attracted dignitaries including renowned academics in the field of Mass Communication from within and outside the State and students of mass communication of the host institution.
Others were traditional and religious leaders, representatives of presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, among others.