ESAs postgraduate students in cultural administration at the NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre start the defence of their project works for the 2014/2015 academic session, the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma has drawn their attention on the need to realize that the programme is designed to give officers basic foundation as far as cultural administration is concerned; hence, the need to take it serious.

Ayakoroma gave this charge on Thursday, 10th December, 2015, which marked Day One of the 2-day exercise that held at the Institute’s Head Office, located on No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja-FCT.

At the defence of research works submitted by the students in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration (PGDCA), the ES disclosed that Management will henceforth attach more seriousness to the exercise, saying the development was informed by the need to improve on the quality of the programme and the certificates issued.

His words: “We want to encourage students to know that the idea of the programme is to give everybody a foundation as far as cultural administration is concerned. Once you go through this programme, anybody can administer this office and we are looking at a time when this will go down to the states. We want an improvement that is why we are doing what we are doing.

“This is not just a discourse; we felt we should go above the level we were before now, so that we can authenticate this process. By next year, I will not be seating here. I want some professors from Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), to come in as external examiners, who will ascertain what we are doing here. So, you need to encourage others that this place is not a playground but an academic one.”

The projects defended include: Maria OKPUZOR – “The Socio-Economic Benefits of Festivals: A Case Study of Leboku New Yam Festival of Idomi in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State;” Iyadunni M. ADELABU-IDRIS – “Kingship as a Cultural Practice in Yorubaland: A Case Study of Installation of Olu Sapere of Sapere in Akoko South West Local Government Area, Ondo State;” Blessing Nkechi MKPA – “The Significance of Traditional Burial Ceremonies in Igbo Land: A Case Study of Ehime Mbano Local Government Area in Imo State;” Uruemu OKORODUDU – “The Place of Akwa Ocha Fabrics among the Anioma People of Delta State: Prospects and Challenges in the 21st Century;” Blessing IRABOR – “The Socio-Political Impacts of Religious Conflicts in Northern Nigeria: A Case Study of Kaduna Metropolis, Kaduna Sate.”

The other presentations were Francisca Nneka OKORO – “The Impact of Television Programmes on the Cultural Life of Nigerian Youths: A Case Study of Igbo Youths in Imo State University, Owerri;” Francis A. IBA – “The Relevance of Rafia Palm to Cultural Performances: A Study of Ekpo Masquerade in Annang Society;” Emuobonuviesa NABOFA – “Perspectives on Culture and Religion in Nigerian Drama: A Critical Study of Emmy Idegu’s The Legendary Inikpi and Sunnie Ododo’s Hard Choice;” and Ugochi Susan DURU – “The Challenges of Theatre in Educating the Society: A Case Study of Ehime Mbano LGA of Imo State.”

Reacting to the presentations, Ayakoroma expressed displeasure over the poor documentation noticed in most of the research works submitted by students, saying he was disappointed that after personally taking the students on the course, “Research Methodology,” where they were taught how to document research writings, they still came up with poorly documented works.

“I am really disappointed because, if at the level most of you are presently in the civil service, you don’t know the difference between MLA and APA style sheets in documentation, then it is rather unfortunate.”

For Professor Barth Chukwuezi, a retired Director at the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), who is a guest lecturer at the NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, thesis writing is a major aspect of research work in any institution and therefore urged the students to take it serious.

Chukwuezi, who stressed that a lot is required in project writing advised that projects should start as soon as the students come into the school so that they make their choice of topic and start the research work, saying if they do that, they will have ample time to go over their research works to make more input.

Responding on behalf of the students, Mr. Uruemu Okorodudu expressed appreciation to Management and the lecturers for the knowledge the school has availed them, saying while most of them thought they knew much before about culture, the exposure they got in the course of the programme proved they had little or no knowledge on cultural issues.

His words: “It is a challenge and a good thing for us to go through this programme. Sometimes you hear words and use them but you don’t understand them; but this place is an eye-opener and most important is the fact that there is no end to knowledge. For me, if there is a way to continue, I will volunteer to do so,” he said.

On the panel of examiners for the first day of the project defence were Dr. Suru Damisa and Mr. Daniel Chikada of the Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK); NICO’s Director, Research and Documentation, Prince Bamidele Olusa; Director, NICO Training School, Lagos, Mrs. Brigitte Yerima; Lecturer/SA-ES, Mr. Law Ezeh; and the Coordinator, NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, Dr. (Mrs.) Regina Onuoha.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit