More Chibok girls matriculate at AUN, begin life-changing journey

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Thirteen students from Chibok, who completed an intensive programme under the New Foundation School (NFS), were among those who took the traditional Community Oath of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) on Monday, January 24.

The 13 young women from Chibok joined other new students from all the 36 states of Nigeria, Rwanda, Niger Republic, and Cameroon, to participate in the colourful Spring 2022 Semester Convocation and Pledge ceremony along with parents, friends, and relatives.

The President of the university, Margee Ensign, presided over the ceremony. She extolled the merits of the American-style liberal arts education offered at AUN, which she pointed out is purposefully designed to develop solutions to local, regional, national, and global problems.

Last October, 57 Chibok students from AUN’s New Foundation School (NFS) were admitted into AUN’s undergraduate programmes. They have since begun their academic journey in Public Health, Law, Engineering, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Communication, and Multimedia Design, among other exciting and life-changing programmes offered at AUN.

The Chibok students enrolled in the AUN New Foundation School (NFS) programme on the scholarship of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Under the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs guardianship, AUN has mentored them into vibrant, curious, and ambitious young women ready for university life and careers after graduation.

Ms Ensign explained to the freshers the American style of education and how it can help them and Nigeria.

“The American style liberal arts education offers small classes so that everyone can interact, can ask questions; discussion groups so that everyone can test their ideas, bounce them off others; research papers so that everyone can ask new questions and search for new answers, and faculty office hours, so that everyone has a chance to discuss course materials more deeply, one-on-one, with the professor.

“The American-style of education inculcates critical thinking and problem-solving skills and prepares students for leadership and service. That is why we have community service—so that everyone can take what they learn on campus and leave the campus and test what they have learned in the real world, to see if it really applies.”

President Ensign said AUN has made a tremendous impact in the region and on Nigeria as a whole and remains a reference point for quality and innovative learning and a catalyst for development.

READ ALSO: Chibok girls still on our minds – Presidency

“Based on the US model of engaged university learning, our students have for many years been involved in the community development of many kinds. Our faculty have been at the forefront of cutting-edge development research. Our graduates have gone on to help change the world. Our Atiku Institute is making a massive difference in our community, state, and region.”

The ceremony ended with a community oath emphasising diligence, honesty, and service.

The extremist Boko Haram sect had on April 14, 2014, abducted 276 girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok. A presidential committee said 57 of the girls immediately escaped from their abductors.

Some of the girls who either escaped from the terrorists or were released later arrived at AUN and were admitted for a foundational programme specially created for them by the university.

When the President Muhammadu Buhari administration came to power in 2015, it began negotiation with the Boko Haram sect. That yielded the release of 21 of the girls in October 2016 and another 82 in May 2017.

Not much has been heard of the remaining 112 girls, although the Federal Government says it is still working on getting them released.

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