‘General Studies’ is a foundation programme of the University, which every fresh student is required to take with great zeal and enthusiasm. General studies are practice oriented courses prescribed for undergraduates in the 1989 NUC approved minimum academic standard ford all Nigeria Universities.
The programme is aimed at reequipping and inculcating in students of various disciplines with the ‘all round knowledge’ which would provide self-confidence expected of every university graduate.
As a foundation programme, it contains all the necessary knowledge that could aid the students to meet the challenges of life in his immediate environment, which make the students very outstanding.
The University graduate is expected to be versatile, to avoid being contentious or narrow minded. It therefore behoves on him to adequately be equipped with the relevant knowledge required for good relationship. This foundation programme is primarily designed to fill in the knowledge-gap and as such provide the student with leadership tools, which the narrow confine of his discipline has failed to provide.
Every University undergraduate requires this basic knowledge and in essence should strive to acquire it through this foundation programme.
It is in recognition of this enormous importance of this programme to students, that the National University Commission emphasizes that every student must take and pass the recommended General Studies courses before he/ she qualifies for graduation from any University in the country.
Finally I am highly indebted to the vice-chancellor pro. F. I . Idike (OON) for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Director of General Studies Division.
I wish also to thank some of my colleagues who have contributed immensely in nurturing of General Studies in Ebonyi State University especially Dr. K. A Ude who laid the foundation and my predecessor Rev. Samuel I Odoh.
Dr. Onwe, S O.
Director General Studies Division
General Studies Division is made up of several academic and non academic staffs that help students to achieve a maximum and qualitative academic knowledge to fit in global world even after graduation. Hierarchy in the Division.
Higher Executive Officers
Senior Clerical Officers
General Studies is a light to guide students in Faculties
General Studies Division programme and the University academic departments are Siamese twins. As one cannot separate typical Siamese twins without causing fatal injury, one can hardly uncouple General Studies and any academic discipline without inflicting a moral blow to the students’ education
Consequently, every student, irrespective of his/her academic discipline, needs General Studies in order to give validity to his/her education. Diving neck-deep into any academic discipline without proper exposure to General Studies courses is like building a house without foundation; the consequences of such serious omission cannot be over-emphasized.
General Studies Division is adequately staffed. Lecturers are competent academic staff drawn from the various departments of the University. The non academic staff, also drawn from the University’s administrative wing, are experienced, placed and urbane. At the helm of the programme is a Director a seasoned, senior academic.
PHILOSOPHY OF THE PROGRAMME
Over the years, University education has come to mean different things to different people. For some, it is a means of economic advancement; and for others, it is a means of manpower training.
Most importantly, the University has the unique task of producing for its nation, graduates, knowledgeable and dependable enough to lead them to lofty height, tomorrow. Such graduates must not be parochial, or lacking in intellectual curiosity, or subjective in their approach to matters. They must be men whose education are not only broad-based but intellectual and by virtue of;
(i) Their intellectual capacity can subject to constant questioning and evaluate any knowledge acquired in order to acquire further knowledge, and
(ii) Their quality of mind can reflect on any given matter with fresh insight, un-beclouded by dogma or the narrow constraints of their disciplines.
These desiderata that make university education worth having at almost any price constitute the package, which General Studies aspire to inculcate in every university undergraduate and future leader of our nation.
AIM OF THE PROGRAMME
General Studies programme seeks to instil in every University freshman and undergraduate in spite of his discipline, that self-confidence laid on solid foundation expected of every University-educated man. The quality of any graduate’s foundation is determined by the extent of his exposure to subjects/disciplines that predispose him to ‘think’, i.e. Deliberate reflection OR in the works of R. F Goheen ‘careful, dispassionate, reflective thought’ and that rare thing, free-born, untrammelled, individual thought, the kind of thinking that may go contrary to the accepted, that wants to examine and re-examine every premise’’. It is obvious that many tertiary institutions today turn out robots because of deficiency in their educational system. The ambition of General Studies Division is to sidetrack this severe defect and ensure that graduates turned out by this University are men and women who can think, men and women who can be objective and impartial in the handling of data, and who can be as accurate as possible in their observations and conclusion and should be able to apply their knowledge of a given situation to many other situations.
NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES COMMISSION APPROVED MINIMUM ACADEMIC STANDARDS
i. General Studies courses are compulsory for all categories of students.
ii. JAMB/PRE-DEGREE ENTRANTS:
Every Undergraduate admitted into the University via JAMB, PRE-DEGREE school or their equivalent for a four-year degree programme is required to take and pass a total of ten (10) credit load courses in General Studies to qualify for graduation.
iii. DIRECT ENTRY STUDENTS
Direct entry students admitted to do a three-year degree programme must take and pass a minimum of eight (8) credit load course to qualify for graduation
iv. TWO-YEAR DEGREE STUDENTS
The above category of students, normally in the Faculty of Education will take and pass GST: 101 & 107-( Use of English 1 and 11) and GST 103: Nigeria people and culture to quality for graduation.
v. GST CORE COURSES: All GST courses carry two(2) credit loads each. They are to be taken in the two semesters of the student’s first year in the University. Faculties/departments whose students are unable to take all the required GST courses in their year should move the course (s) not taken to their second year.
A LIST OF GST CORE COURSES
GST 101 : Use of English 1
GST 102 : Introduction to Philosophy and Logic
GST 103 : Nigeria peoples and Culture
GST 104 : History and Philosophy of Science
GST 106 : social Science
GST 107 : Use of English 11
GST 222 : Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies.
GST 101 AND 107: USE OF ENGLISH 1AND 11
For most Nigerians and Nigeria students, learning through the medium of English language is learning through the medium of a second language. This Pre-supposes learning from a position of linguistic disadvantage.
Whereas, to be fully integrated into the personality of the Learner and to be effectively applied or utilized, learning tasks are best related to the learners cultural heritage, experiential background, practical needs and linguistic facility. But in our secondary schools and tertiary institutions the new skills and knowledge, which the students seek to acquire, can only be obtained from books written by English lecturers also delivered in English language. Study efficiency in our schools and tertiary institutions obviously presupposes language competence. The kind of language competence that is required of an undergraduate, therefore, is one, which enables him to comprehend readily and use with great facility both spoken and written English.
Use of English as an aspect of GST course is therefore designed and taught as a developmental, rather than a remedial course to assist our students in universities to effectively contend with the linguistic barrier between them and their set goals.
‘‘Use of English’’ as a package programme contains in addition to language proficiency, other valuable skills as you can see from the course contents below.
GST 102: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY AND LOGIC
The course is deigned to:
i. Provide the beneficiaries with a sound and all-inclusive foundation on which to base their learning.
ii. Through the imparting of philosophical and logical attitudes, liberate and enlarge the insights and perceptions of the beneficiaries so as to give qualitative and practical meaning to their education
iii. Assist the students to develop the critical habits of presupposition less, reasoned analysis and openness and thereby promote tolerance which is itself necessary in a multi-ethnic, religious and cultural society like Nigeria.
iv. Provide the beneficiaries a comprehensive and broad perspective in which all forms of human experience are shifted; assessed, evaluated and applied to the preservation of culture and society.
v. Assist the beneficiaries develop positive and sound ethical, moral and social values.
GST 103: NIGEIRIA PEOPLES AND CULTURE:
Nigeria as a geographical expression comprises many tribes with diverse culture who have by either design or accident come to live together as one nation. Experience over the years, colonial and post colonials shows that Nigeria is capable of becoming a formidable Nation, indeed, a force to reckon with in the world, if she can bury her cultural prejudice, marry her cultural differences and live together as one nation.
One way of achieving this feat (unity in diversity) is by exposing our students in tertiary institutions (leaders of tomorrow) to our peoples-Nigerian Peoples and Culture, through the medium of classroom lectures; authenticated by the NYSC programme which promotes inter-tribal/ethnic affinity.
GST 103 IS THEREFORE DESIGNED TO:
i. Impress on the mind of every student the spirit of nationalism, patriotism, personal and group discipline, leadership by example and respect for constituted authority.
ii. Encourage/assist the students to cultivate positive moral attitudes to life.
iii. Inculcate in students the spirit of self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance, and pioneering and maintenance culture.
iv. Restore respect for positive traditional values and to encourage research into the Nigerian cultural heritage.
v. Enhance synchronization of Nigeria’s culture with the national development efforts.
vi. Become conversant with Nigeria’s historical and political trends.
GST 104 HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
This course seeks to flash light on man in his cosmic environment; his quest to understand the natural laws and how he applies these laws for the control of his environment as earlier stated in this handbook, the greatest asset of the University educated man is that, in addition to his deep knowledge in his discipline, he knows little about everything, consequent upon this versatility, he is more useful to himself and his community.
A rudimentary knowledge of (say) environmental effects of chemicals, plastics, wastes and other materials, chemical and radio chemical hazards, relationship between science and culture etc does not in anyway diminish the image of the arts graduate. It rather enhances his leadership chances since communities look up to knowledgeable men for leadership.
GST 106; SOCIAL SCIENCES
Man does not live in isolation. He lives amidst other beings, his fellow man and other creatures. He interacts with them and manipulates his biophysical environment to serve his need and desire.
Any field of study involved with the study of man’s interaction with his environment is social science. Social science therefore is an embodiment of all disciplines that study man, his observation, ideas, knowledge, and activities in his society.
Goals: Social science is designed to enrich students in the faculties of Agricultural Science, medical science, natural and applied sciences including Departments of Science and Technical Education with the basic knowledge of man’s relationship with his environment. This course helps the students to acquire relevant leadership skills. It also helps the students to realize their general roles in their own development and in the social and economic development of their country.
GST 222: PEACE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION STUDIES
The National Universities Commission recently organized expert panels that comprehensively reviewed the curriculum of academic programmes in Nigerian Universities as well as merged the prescriptive Minimum Academic Standard ( MAS) 1989 with the outcome-base benchmark statements of 2001. The resultant curriculum (BMAS) is designed to ensure the production of better skilled graduates, who will be sufficiently empowered to meet the changing needs of the nation and the African region, as well as the challenges of global competitiveness in the labour market. The reviewed General Studies Programme, which included GST 222-Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies, will lay emphasis on cultural wholesome education, moral instruction as well as environmental concerns. The general essence is to produce a more knowledgeable, skilled, practical, entrepreneurial and change-oriented graduate. Specifically, GST 222 will enable the graduates to inculcate character traits and attitudinal disposition that will promote positive social changes, a non-violent culture of conflict resolution and a culture of peace building.
GENERAL PURPOSE OF THE COURSE
To develop the intellectual capabilities of individuals to appreciate and promote peaceful co-existence. This could be achieved through imparting specific cases of conflict and violence mechanisms of peace making, peace building and promotion, as well as illustrating various methods/strategies of conflict management and resolution and transformation which will increase the capacity building of students for conflict resolution even after their graduation.
PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS OR SENSITIVITIES
The course is intended to run as part of the General Studies Courses (GST) in the three segments of tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria: Universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
The course therefore will be taught to every student who has fulfilled the general requirements for admission into the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria, irrespective of whatever academic discipline she/he is offering.
No prior knowledge of either peace or conflict studies is required. However, a good background in philosophy and human existence, Nigeria peoples and cultures, use of the library and information and communication technology (ICT) study skills as covered under general studies in the first year, will be an advantage.
30hours following a standard 15 weeks semester, that is two hours per week. The course will be taught in the second year, so that all students, including those admitted through the direct entry mode, can take it.