PROFESSOR AREMU GIVES STEWARDSHIP OF HIS FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE (DLCissue1017)
 
The catalyst for success is not always what you think you can do but rather, what you set out to do. Many pay lip service to success but only few visionary leaders reach for success. A biblical injunction emphasises the importance of counting the cost before commencing a building project. And indeed, how far you would go is premised on laid down plans religiously tailored by purpose driven activities, one step at a time towards accomplishments. This is the appropriate description worth given to the achievements recorded so far by the Oyesoji Aremu led administration of the Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan.
 
On Saturday, August 12, 2017, the Director, DLC, Professor Oyesoji Aremu featured on a breakfast show on Diamond 101.1 FM (U.I. Radio) tagged Weekend Starter. It was supposed to be a personality interview but it turned out to be set on the date the new DLC administration clocked six months. One would say it was a coincidence but to Professor Aremu, it was an opportunity to take stock and give an accountability report. It was indeed an engaging one hour with the Studio Manager, Mr. Paul Emorkhare who conducted the interview.
 
The Director noted frankly at the commencement of the interview that he would love to downplay the celebration perspective of his first six months in office. He noted that the journey ahead was still long and it was too early to roll out the drums. However, he emphasised that the achievements of the first six months were indications of God’s benevolence and brighter days ahead for the Distance Learning Centre.  
 
Paramount on the list Professor Aremu rolled out was the issue of staff welfare. He submitted that the Centre had improved tremendously in this regard. He recounted that not less than twenty-two staff members had benefitted from trainings and conferences sponsored by the Centre. He however noted that a policy had been formulated to harmonise this kind gesture. He also recalled that a two-day in-house training was recently organised for secretaries and Learner Support Staff in partnership with the English Language Clinic of the Faculty of Arts. Also, he revealed that the sale of DLC customised android tablets at subsidised rates which afforded payment by installment was also done for staff members. He added that the DLC staff bus shuttle services had been reintroduced to make up for the distance of the Centre’s head office from the main campus. Still on staff welfare, Prof. Aremu noted that a Table Tennis facility had been purchased to boost sporting activities amongst staff members. 
 
The question of facility development came up and the Director had these to say. He noted that the new administration was committed to leveraging on the laudable feats of the immediate past administration. He added that the installation of computer systems and the networking of two CBT halls of 1000 computers was another achievement worth mentioning. He continued that the installation and networking became very expedient in view of the Centre’s resolution to improve its Internally Generated Revenue drive through its collaboration with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). In the light of this, the Centre registered over thirteen thousand candidates at the last JAMB registration exercise. According to him, this was the largest in the South West. He added that the Centre also conducted the JAMB examination in its CBT Centre. Closely related to this, he quipped that the Centre’s Finance Committee had approved the commencement of the architectural drawing of the DLC administrative block to be built within the premises of the CBT Centre.
 
When asked about the smooth run of the programme, the Director noted that the 2016/2017 first semester examination commenced at record time. Professor Aremu mentioned that against the skepticism of learners and the postponement of deadline for payment of tuition fee twice, the idea of elongation of the academic calendar was defeated. He then solicited the learners unflinching support as the Centre was doing all it could to adhere to the advertised calendar.
 
Furthermore, the Director reiterated the need for DLC to have her own Core Academic staff to complement the efforts of facilitators domiciled in programme units. He then gladly announced that the Centre had gotten approval to advertise positions of Core Academics in programme units that were already on the DLC mode. However, he noted that once more programmes were validated and revalidated by the National Universities Commission (NUC), more academics would be employed. In the light of this, he mentioned that the Centre had been given the nod by NUC to come for revalidation and validation of more programmes. In preparation for this, he stated that over 120 course materials had been converted to Learning Management System (LMS).
 
As part of the repositioning agenda of the Administration, Professor Aremu pointed out that the setting up of ad hoc committees to assist in overseeing different activities of the Centre was expedient. He then noted that the Core Management of DLC deliberated extensively and came up with different ad hoc committees which had been inaugurated.
 
As the programme was being concluded, the Director noted with excitement that the reports had been captured in the first edition of the official DLC News Magazine tagged Unibadan ODL Frontiers. He noted that this was another achievement which should be attributed to his first six months in office. He reiterated that the achievements were only foundations for the next phase. He then appreciated the support of members of DLC family for their dogged support and commitment to their tasks and schedules of duty. He also appreciated DLC learners for the unprecedented understanding the management had been enjoying from them. He expressed with optimism that DLC would soar and be the pride of the University of Ibadan and the nation as a whole as an Open and Distance Learning Institution of global repute.
 
Dayo Olajide
Communications Officer, DLC