Otiono donates projector, books to Delta State University
* Niger Delta Literature, Environment and Climate Change Centre For DELSU
In a bid to promote excellence in higher education in Delta State, a university don and winner of Capital Educators’ Award for teaching excellence in Canada, Prof. Nduka Otiono of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, recently presented learning and teaching aids to the Faculty of Arts, Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka. The instructional materials included dozens of textbooks as well as a projector for instructors, undergraduate and postgraduate students. Also, DELSU has adopted the Niger Delta Literature, Environment and Climate Change Centre proposed by Professors G.G. Darah and Otiono.
Otiono, who was rounding off work at DELSU as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow at the Department of English and Literary Studies, said the gesture was geared towards supporting the intellectual development of his native Delta State, affirming that teaching and learning were veritable tools for driving socio-economic development. He noted that during his first term as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow in the summer of 2015, he was struck by the acute shortage of research and classroom instructional technology.
“I wanted to develop a course, Globalization and Popular Culture in Africa, which I have been teaching in my university in Canada but couldn’t do so,” explained Otiono. “There were no smart classrooms for me to reasonably explore such a media-dependent course. So, I had to commit to helping provide some of the relevant books and technology. Fortunately, I won the new alumni category of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, which enabled me to fulfill that commitment.”
Prof. Otiono also noted that he received support from a classmate and compatriot in Ottawa, Canada, Mr. Victor Odili-Idiagbor, a Middleware Consultant with the Government of Canada.”
While speaking after receiving the items in his office in Abraka, the Vice Chancellor of DELSU, Prof. Victor F. Peretomode, thanked Otiono for the kind gesture. He noted that the materials would go a long way in enhancing teaching and learning in the institution, urging students and lecturers in the Faculty of Arts to utilise the materials in order to improve their performance.
Peretomode pledged the university’s commitment to strengthening its collaboration with Otiono’s home institution of Carleton University towards establishing the Niger Delta Literature, Environment and Climate Change Centre proposed by Professors G.G. Darah and Otiono. The Vice Chancellor affirmed that the university authority would do everything possible to ensure the smooth take-off of the centre and ensure that it becomes a world-class centre, where scholars around the world would visit for important research resources on the Niger Delta region.
In their respective remarks, the Dean of Faculty of Arts, DELSU Abraka, Prof. Grace Ogwu and Prof. Godini Dara, noted that the learning materials would not only enrich the library, but also aid academic research, while the projector would enhance presentations during the symposia.
The innovative Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship programme facilitates engagement between scholars born in Africa who are now based in the United States or Canada and scholars in Africa on mutually beneficial academic activities. The programme is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with Quinnipiac University, through Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, who chairs the Advisory Council, and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
In the words of Zeleza, “Diaspora knowledge networks that bring together academics across disciplines and help to facilitate scholarly collaboration, faculty and student exchanges, and networking opportunities are an important component of brain circulation. Diaspora academics constitute a critical facet of higher education internationalization. The connections fostered through them ultimately support capacity building and innovation in home and host countries. Unique in its organisation, CADFP offers opportunities for truly collaborative, innovative and transformative engagements between African Diaspora academics in Canada and the United States and African higher education institutions in six countries.”