The orientation programme for the Postgraduate students of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English (ARCSSTE-E) for 2023 took place in the Space Museum of the Centre on the 14th of March, 2023.

In attendance was the CEO/Director of the Centre, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, the management Staff including Mrs. Lami Fadiora (DD Admin & Finance), Dr. Omowumi Alabi (DD/HOD Academic Programs, Dr. Olakunle Oladosu (HOD Atmospheric Science), Mr. A. Shuaib (HOD Accounts), Dr. M. Fagbeja (HOD Space Education and Outreach Programmes) and Mr. Samam Obaguo (AD Human Resources), the PGD students for both Remote Sensing and GIS; and Space Law and some members of staff of ARCSSTE-E.

The Director in his speech, officially welcomed the students, bringing greetings from UNOOSA and the DG of NASRDA, Dr. Halilu Shaba. He affirmed that the PGD Programme is one of the activities of the Centre in its quest to build human capacity in Space related issues. According to facts, 601 students from 19 countries have graduated from the PGD programme since its inception.

He specifically appreciated the foreign students present for participating in the programmme despite the unfavorable news about Nigeria. In his words, Executive Director added that “You have to be brave to achieve your goals” and hoped the participants spread the good news about their experiences in ARCSSTEE.

He promised the students that the hostels will keep under going renovation while the proposed construction of a new hostel will commence. Prof. Rabiu made it clear that the bulk of the funds for the sponsorship of foreign students come from the Federal Government of Nigeria through NASRDA while the United Nations handle the flight tickets for foreign students only. He therefore implored the self-sponsored students to make commitments toward the payment of their school fees. 

In her remark, the Head, Academic Programmes, Dr Omowumi Alabi also appreciated the efforts of the students so far and informed them of the course assessment form they would be required to fill and submission of research proposals. She also reiterated the importance of the payment of school fees.

Mr. Samam Obaguo (AD, Human Resources) briefed the students on some general rules and regulations guiding the programme, not to curtail liberty, but to encourage discipline and create a conducive environment. Some of the rules include:

  1. No entertainment of friends in class
  2. No littering of waste in the classrooms
  3. Leaving the program before the end is prohibited
  4. Smoking and the use of hard drugs are not permitted
  5. No lodging of guests in the hostels
  6. Foreign students are not allowed to leave the premises of the campus and should always have their identity cards on them.
  7. No extravagant parties should be organized in the hostel
  8. Refrain from causing damages to the properties of the hostel.

The students’ class Representative, Lt. Bana expressed his gratitude to the Director of the Centre for creating a good learning environment that is insightful, demanding and challenging.

In the closing remarks, the Deputy Director (Admin and Finance), Mrs. Lami Ali – Fadiora affirmed that all belonged to one Africa and should therefore, work together to make it a better place. She wished the students all the best and admonished them to focus on their goals no matter the challenges to “Make hay while the sun shines” .

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