The Director Overseeing the Office of the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mrs. Briggette Yerima has raised the need extend field schools for students of the NICO Training School to government cultural agencies in addition to other cultural sites previously visited by the students.
Yerima who gave this directive on Monday, July 27, 2020 during the Examination Board Meeting of the Abuja Study Centre of the Institute’s Training School, said since the programme leads to award of Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma certificates in cultural administration, it is imperative for students to also visit public cultural institutions to learn how they are administered.
In her words, “They can visit government cultural institutions like the National Council for Arts & Culture, National Gallery of Arts, National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism, State Arts Councils and Galleries, museums and craft centres among others so they can understudy the administration of these agencies as well as to enrich their experiences”.
Similarly, the Board also supported the decision to grade students on field school based on individual report and participation, stating that most times, students are passive during such trips, thereby leaving a few to actively get involved in the process. The Board further maintained that individual assessment will enable them to not only take the exercise seriously but also increase their level of involvement and participation in the school trip which is an essential requirement for the award of certificates in Cultural Administration.
According to the NICO Boss, the Institute’s Management is working tirelessly to reposition the Training School by improving standards, providing a conducive learning environment as well as ensure value addition to the certificate issued at the end of the training programme.
She disclosed that the Institute is working towards accrediting its Diploma programme with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). She maintained that plans are in top gear to organise the first workshop leading to accreditation of the courses.
Also in line with current realities of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut down academic activities in the country, the Board approved that modalities should be put in place to explore the possibility of e-learning so that the academic session will not be lost. To achieve this, the Board directed the Training School department to work out modalities to experiment with e-learning.
“Let’s look at e-learning so that the session will not be allowed to waste like that. We can look at it in-house and propose a timeframe within which we can kick-start. Let’s experiment it and see if it will work, otherwise, we will jettison the idea”.
Other Management staff present during the meeting were: Mr. Alex Omijie (Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs); Mr. Ibrahim Hussaini (Director, Administration & Human Resources); Mr. Mike Ekoko (Director, Research & Documentation), ably represented by Mrs. Maria Okpuzor (Assistant Director, Research); Mrs. Jane Anigala (Deputy Director/Coordinator, Abuja Study Centre, NICO Training School); Barr. Musa Kakamba (Deputy Director/Head, Legal Services); and Mr. Herbert Ogbeh (Head, Finance & Accounts).
Dr. Philip Umaru, a lecturer with the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) also attended the meeting as representative from the University. Recall that NICO Training School is affiliated with NSUK.