The year 2020 started with a lot of promises and hopes of higher and better achievement in the Directorate. Plans were made, trainings were planned for both teaching and non-teaching staff all in a bid to improve the quality of the university workforce/personnel but as the saying goes, man proposes, but God disposes. The whole world woke up to and experienced the CORONA VIRUS pandemic, the worst in recent times which came in unannounced and has been wreaking havoc the world over. The pandemic in essence changed the narrative, changed our ways of life and practically brought everything to a stop. As a result, all our carefully laid down plans in the Directorate were put on hold. While praying for respite from the pandemic so that we can inch forward taking each day at a time, the Directorate was still able to record some achievements during the period, some of which are presented below:
TRAINING OF RESEARCH TEAMS ON GRANT WRITING
In the bid to achieve the sustainable development goals of the UN by the year 2030, meaningful research with social impact and technological innovation remain major criteria to measure the growth, development and impact of universities around the world. There is no gainsaying the fact that universities need adequate funding in order to be able to achieve this purpose, unfortunately most universities in Nigeria (particularly the state universities) are not adequately funded to be able to conduct meaningful research. In addition to this, not many universities (TASUED inclusive) have been able to attract major research funding either internally from TETfund or globally from donor agencies due to the inability to put up good and fundable research proposals. In order to brace up to face the challenge of writing fundable research proposals in TASUED, the Directorate organized a one-day workshop/training for TASUED research teams, with the aim of opening up their minds, adequately equipping them and finally setting them on the way to conquering all perceived obstacles so that henceforth they are able to write fundable research proposals and ultimately be able to access research grants both locally and internationally. Facilitators To carry out the training the Directorate invited two internationally renowned Professors who are well-versed in the field and who, themselves, have won several grants: Prof. Ayotola Aremu, a Professor of Educational Technology and Prof. Ayodele Samuel Jegede, a Professor of Medical Sociology and an avid researcher of international repute with over 130 scholarly publications to his credit were invited from the University of Ibadan as facilitators at the training and at the end of the day, participants applauded them for the depth of knowledge displayed and impacted.
The ADAPTI is a unique platform that targets both academic and Non-academic staff of tertiary institutions for training in basic ICT office productivity tools including the use of internet, and e-learning facilities as well as collaborations in course delivery at no cost to the participants. It is a programme geared towards equipping staff of tertiary institutions with ICT skills that will enable them to translate the acquired knowledge and skills into improved teaching and work performance. The 5-day training opened on Monday 16th November 2020 and came to a close on Friday 20th November, 2020. In all, 102 candidates were trained from the Non teaching units and participants had the choice of either taking the Internet and Office Productivity Tools package (IOPT) class or the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) class depending on their schedule at work. The training was highly interactive and the facilitators did their best in presenting the topics for easy assimilation by participants. At the end of the programme, participants expressed their appreciation and remarked that the training program was indeed well packaged and impactful.
CARNEGIE FELLOWSHIP During the course of the year 2020, it is worthy to note that the Directorate in conjunction with Professor Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome of City University of New York (CUNY) wrote and submitted a proposal (for project funding) to the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP). The proposal was selected among several others and granted approval thereby necessitating the University to host Professor Okome on TASUED Campus for between 6 and 8 weeks to work with the Department of Political Science on ‘Graduate Mentorship, Curriculum development and Inter-disciplinary action Research’. Prof. Okome, a Fulbright Scholar and an editor of so many academic journals, is a professor of Political Science as well as African and Women’s Studies at Brooklyn College, CUNY. Her research interests include ‘Effects of globalization, post-colonialism and post-modernity on economic and political transformation; Gender, Democracy and Citizenship in Africa and African Diaspora Studies’.
The Directorate is also proud to report that the Deputy Director, Dr. Adefunke Ekine was among the selected few academics in our University who won the NRF for the year 2020. Dr. Ekine’s team won a Research fund of N21, 403,000 for a project titled: ‘Development and Validation of a Gender Responsive Pedagogy for preventing Gender-Based Violence in Primary Schools’. The second team led by Dr. R.A. Akerele won a Research Fund of N26,500,000 for their project titled: ‘Formulation of Nutrient Dense Biscuit to reduce Malnutrition Prevalence among vulnerable U-5 and School Age Children in Nigeria’. This indeed shows that in the Directorate, we back our words with action and lead from the front. DUBAI TRAINING In December 2020, the Director and the Deputy Director attended a training program on Research Proposal Writing and Research Grant Management in Dubai. The training was organised by Tertiary Education Training fund (TETfund) and it was held at the Le Meridien Hotel, Dubai. The directorate will do a scaling down of the contents and organise workshops for academics on College basis in due course.
In conclusion, despite the pandemic and its attendant fall-outs/consequences in 2020, the Directorate did not rest on its oars but still strove to make its presence felt within the University Campus and even beyond the shores of the Country. Our impact is felt among all members of staff as our trainings are unending and all targeted towards the sole purpose of improving, developing and encouraging the university workforce to reach for greater heights. While we have only just scratched the surface, we have started noticing improved productivity. We have our job well cut out for us and it is our promise to deliver on all fronts.