The flourishing relationship between Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), and China, the world fastest economy in the world, has hit the fast lane as 14 students of the university travelled to China yesterday (July 4) on a three-week scholarship to sharpen their proficiency in Chinese language and culture. The students were accompanied by the Chinese Language Coordinator in ABUAD, Mr. Charles Ejemezu.
ABUAD students and staff were considered worthy of making the list of institutions selected all over the world because of ABUAD’s cordial relationship with China and a Memorandum of Understanding between ABUAD and China since 2011.
In 2011, barely a year after ABUAD commenced academic work on January 4, 2010, the university introduced the compulsory study of Chinese or French languages to its students as part of its efforts to institutionalize quality and functional education and prepare its students for the competitive global employment market.
Since the introduction of Chinese language to the curriculum of the university, ABUAD students have benefitted from the programme. In 2012, two ABUAD students got scholarships to study in two separate universities in China.
In 2013, two students of the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy of the university got Chinese Government scholarships to study for one year in two different Universities in China. The lucky duo were Miss Queen Ada Modestus and Miss Somiari Elizabeth Belema, who have since bagged their Proficiency Certificates in Chinese Language from Hangzhou Normal University China and Fujian Normal University China respectively thereby giving them an edge in the highly competitive global labour/employment market.
Just about a year after the duo of Modestus and Belema benefitted from this rare opportunity, 16 ABUAD students and staff of the university embarked on an Educational/Excursion tour to Beijing, China between September 19 and October 3, 2014.
The introduction of Chinese language has certainly been paying off within the ABUAD community. In 2016, Oghenetejiri Odjighoro, a 2015 First Class Graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of ABUAD, was employed as an Assistant Engineer by the Lagos-based Huawei Technologies Limited, a leading multinational Networking and Telecommunications Equipment and Services company because of her basic knowledge of Chinese language.
The stuff Odjighoro was made of glowed very early in her life as a student in ABUAD with her expertise in Valued Added Programmes in her College which exposed her to Basic Programming skills in C++, C#, MATLAB and LabView in addition to Microsoft packages of Office, Excel, Power-Point and Outlook.
No wonder she won the Lady of the Year Award by the Nigerian University Engineering Students Association (NUESA) in 2015, SPDC Joint Venture University Scholarship Award (2010-2015), Afe Babalola University Founder’s Merit Award (2010-2015) and Pan Ocean University Internship Programme and Scholarship Award (2014) as well as Professional Certification in General and Advanced (Level 3) Health Safety and Environment (HSE) by Deslog Energy Services.
In her December 12, 2016 letter of appreciation to the University, Odjighoro was full of effusive and lavish praise for ABUAD Founder, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, the Management and staff of the University for empowering her with all the skills, including the studying of Chinese language, she needed to succeed and excel in her chosen career of Engineering.
Her words: “I would like to start by thanking the Founder of my Alma Mata, Aare Afe Babalola, the Management and staff of ABUAD for empowering me with the knowledge and skills that have enabled me not only to stand, but also to thrive above my peers in the work force”.
She added: “Today, I am a staff of Huawei Technologies, a leading multinational Networking and Telecommunications company, an appointment which would not have been possible without the practical and noteworthy skills bestowed upon me especially through the Afe Language programme.
“In Huawei, the skill of speaking or understanding Chinese, albeit not necessarily important, proved an added advantage to me. This was made possible through the Afe Language Programme which I undertook in 2012 where I learned Chinese from seasoned lecturers. During my interview, I wowed the panel which consisted of three Chinese men with my knowledge of basic Chinese. One of these three men later became my Supervisor.
“For them, it was not about the depth of understanding or the fluency of speaking, it was simply the availability of the skill and the confidence to deploy it effortlessly. This, I believe swayed the appointment in my favour”
Odjighoro stressed that with just one year after graduation, she has fully appreciated Babalola’s vision of breeding top tier students who embody numerous and varied skills as well as proficiency that will enable them stand out in all fields of human endeavour.
“I am filled with respect and adulation for my Founder (Babalola) and the (pioneer) Provost, College of Engineering, Prof. Israel E. Owolabi, who worked tirelessly to raise students worthy of the title ‘Engineers’. It is truly an honor to be called an Alumnus of such a great institution”, Odjighoro, who had earlier worked as an Assistant Head of Programming with Lovettes Bit Company, an Entertainment-based company, concluded.
Head, Corporate Affairs