The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) and Visiting Associate Professor with Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has queried the project defence of the 2015/2016 Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Administration (PGDCA) Class of NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, for not complying with the 6th edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Documentation Style Sheet recommended for their PGDCA thesis.

Prof. Ayakoroma stated this  at the 2-day Project Defence of the 2016 Post Graduate students, fondly called, Class Culture Diplomats, held on Monday, 19th and Tuesday, 20th  December, 2016, at the Institute’s Headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

In his opening remark, the ES welcomed his co-examiners and the students for having made it to the 2016 project defence stage of the NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, assuring that it would be an interactive session, where students would prove that they did the research work themselves and really understand what they.

His words: ”The project defence is an interactive session for you to tell us what you have researched on. But if you have a rehearsed speech to deliver, you will be disappointed because this is a defence.”

The recurrent decimals in the project defence were the issues of concise and researchable project topics, traces plagiarism occasioned by poor in-text citations and bibliographic documentation in most of the works.

Reacting to these academic anomalies, the Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and NICO Boss said that each of these flaws boiled down to lack of seriousness on the part of the students and that it was worrisome because having taught them Research Methods and made a copy of the 6th edition of MLA Quick Study available to them, he had expected that they should represent all that was taught in their project works.

Concluding, Ayakoroma commended Class Culture Diplomats as being an exemplary class, who are now culture ambassadors by the virtue of the training they have got to defend the culture sector and the Institute, also informing that by next year, some courses will be elective due to the Training Schools affiliation with Nasarawa State University, Keffi, as the courses offered in the Training School will be in tandem with the University’s curriculum.

One of the students, Mr. Kingsley Okoi of the National Gallery of Art (NGA), who wrote on ”The Impact of Christianity on the Culture of Ugep Community in Cross River State,” commended NICO for the Training School programme after his presentation, saying, ”The programme was not easy but it was a great experience. I see it as an opportunity; I wish we could have heads of other Agencies who could push this vision right before the National Assembly in harnessing culture for national development. I thank my Director-General, Alhaji Abdullahi Muku, for nominating me for this training”.

In her ote of thanks, the Coordinator of the Abuja Study Centre, Dr. Mrs. Regina Onuoha, lent her voice in congratulating the students for having successfully completed the requirements for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration (PGDCA) of NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, and appreciated the ES, Prof. Barclays Ayakoroma and other assessors for sparing the time for the projects defence.

Present at the project defence were the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs and Lecturer in the Study Centre, Mr. Alex Omijie; Acting Director, Research and Documentation, Mr. Mike Ikoko; Acting Director, Administration and Human Resources, Alhaji Ibrahim Husseini; Deputy Director & SA to ES as well a Lecturer at the Study Centre, Mr. Law Ezeh; and Academic Staff Adviser, Mr. Patrick Obi, among others.

It would be recalled that the first set of 25 students of NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, graduated in the 2014/2015 Academic Session; and the second set of the 2015/2016 Academic Session is made up of a total of 19 students that defended their projects.

Njideka Dimgba

Corporate Affairs Unit