The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, on Wednesday, January 22, held practical seminar presentation sessions for 400 level students of Theatre and Cultural Studies at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), where students displayed their various levels of understanding on select topics.
The practical seminar paper presentation, which took place at the university’s 500-Seater Theatre Auditorium, was organized as part of the requirements for the course, “Culture and National Development,” which has Dr. Ayakoroma as the course lecturer.
In his opening remarks, Ayakoroma stressed that, indeed, a nation’s dress culture, food culture and languages, among others, can be used to enhance national development, adding: “You know that, especially girls here, when you hear of Chinese restaurants, you are very excited. But what is China doing? They are using food to conquer the world; they are selling their own food culture to you and you go eating frogs and other things then you say you are happy.”
According to him, when one talks about language, the Japanese engineer or the Chinese professor may not understand English but he is who he is because he studied, using the indigenous language. “Our children go abroad to do programmes and they are forced to study the indigenous languages of their host countries because they believe that as far as you are studying there, you have to be one of them,” he noted.
Ayakoroma, who maintained that the course, “Culture and National Development,” brings to the fore the centrality of culture to national development, said because one does not know it all, seminar presentations of that nature provided a veritable platform through which different ideas could be generated and sieved, which
according to him, informed why the select topics were varied.
In all, about 68 students were scheduled to participate in the exercise, which was divided into seven panels, with students having five minutes each to present their research work, while appearance, presentation, composure and substance formed the criteria for their assessment.
The first day had three panels comprising ten presenters each where the students presented papers on different topics, ranging from music and national development, language and national development, traditional marriage and national development, and the chieftaincy institution and national development.
In his closing remarks, at the end of the first day of presentations, Dr. Ayakoroma expressed concern with most of the presentations which he said were incoherent and not well documented, further suggesting that there was urgent need for the department to organize yet another special session on research documentation to better equip the students ahead of their final projects, which is a basic requirement in partial fulfillment for the award of their first degrees.
He also had a word of caution for the 200 level students: “I want to tell us this that you may not take this exercise seriously; but it is what you are going to go through. By the time it will come to you, it will be more intense and not just what is happening now because then it will be spread from the second or third week of the semester down to the end. So, maybe what we are doing now may not be what will hap
pen in just one day but will give us more time, more questions and answers. And, of course, when we are taking about cultural diplomacy, most of the issues that have discussed here are what you are going to relate to cultural diplomacy.”
It will be recalled that Ayakoroma, apart from holding the office of the Executive Secretary of NICO is a visiting Senior Lecturer in the
Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK).
Corporate Affairs Unit