Thursday, 5 July 2018

MY STORY OF A TWO YEAR PHD FROM THE PRESTIGIOUS AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA, NIGERIA ~ DR. MRS. JULIET MUONEME

abu phd two years
Dr. Mrs. Juliet Muoneme
I went into the University for my Master's degree with all the euphoria of what I heard about ABU, Zaria that people hardly graduates and that many do abandon the programme.
To confirm this assertion, the first seminar presentation I witnessed was that of a candidate defending his PhD after 12years.

I then went into Covenant with God, to connect me with the right people as my Supervisory Team. I promised God I will tell of His kindness if He does it for me. And that my degree was going to be a sign of my dedication to His call.

The first connection was a Spiritual Father, Rev. Fr. Isek, who continued to support me in prayers and gave me one assignment or the other on a spiritual journey for God's speed in my academic endeavour.

During my Masters, we were 65 in Science Education Department (Masters and PhD Students of same Department). I graduated with one of my colleagues from Katsina State. Out of the two of us, I proceeded immediately for PhD in the same Department.

The following are the outline of my success:
1. Prayer
2. Hard work
3. Good Supervisory Team
4. Humility
5. Relevance of my topic

Prayer
PS 127:1 says: Except the Lord build a house, the builders build in vain. From day one of my studies, I committed the studies unto God's hand, committed my life for His course and dedicated to service in His Vineyard. I attended Mass every day except on few occasions, after which I'll visit Jesus at the Blessed Sacrament to remind Him of my presence in ABU Zaria and the reason why I was there. I attend adorations every Tuesday asking God to see me through. In fact, my life was Church and school.

Hard work
After Mass and brief moment at the Blessed Sacrament, I drive to school premises. Hang around until any of the classrooms is opened, or I go to the main Library. Because of my early arrival at the campus on daily ground, even the security men at the various gates and the cleaners knew me. And I remembered after greeting them, they always pray for me with the words 'Allah ya taimaka' meaning, may God see you through.

I always resume school on time but leave late. At the main Library, all the security men and women knew me. Since I wasn't the outing type, I worked and worked. Anytime, I go to collect my work from any of the supervisors, I go with the file straight to the library  to commence corrections in order to submit that same day or the following day.

Good Supervisory Team
The Lord blessed me with three supervisors that were not antagonists. They were dedicated and each had specific roles they played during my studies. My first supervisor, Professor Isah A. Usman, was an angel, an encouragement, an inspiration, a bundle of humility and a role model. He sacrificed so much for my work that even when he was in Sabbatical in Gombe, he was still attending to my work every two weeks. He used his airtime to call me anytime he was done with my work. He would sit me down to explain anything he wanted me to do concerning my work at any time. He would even give materials to guide in case I was confused. He made sure I dint jump any aspect of my research in order not to have problem with defence at any stage. He was a father away from home. He is a role model.

My second supervisor, Dr. M. R. Bawa, was like a spiritual adviser. He would always watch my countenance and start advising. He would always assure me that it will be over. My third Supervisor, Rev. Dr. S.S. Obeka, was a technical adviser. He would always look at the work with critical eyes and advise and insist on a change where he feels I may have problems later. He was a very principled man.

The PG Coordinator: This was in person of Dr. I. M. Ibrahim. I came to understand that even if you have good Supervisory Team, the PG Coordinator can cripple or slow down your work. This is because, if he or she did not fix a date of defence or contact all the necessary people or did not present your candidacy at any point in time, you aren't going anywhere. Dr. Maruf, as we popularity called him, was a rugged man. He is a mathematician to the core. He worked 48 hours within a 24 hour schedule. He was highly instrumental to all the dates of my defence and even the selection of internal and External Examiners

Collaboration with other Lecturers in humility
I made sure almost all the Lecturers in the faculty were aware of my work. I deliberately printed any stage of my work and gave them to critique. They'll advice and correct. No single lecturer in my department did not in one way or the other contribute. It was either, the person critiqued chapter one, or helped in structuring the Literature review, or suggested one or two things in the research methodology, or validated one or more of the research instruments or was the statistician that analysed the research findings, just name it.

This was an added advantage at any of my defence, because any of the lecturers will always nod and say....'oh she's been working'. And of course I assumed a zero personality as far as my relationship with my lecturers were concerned. I greet and respect all, even if the person was not in my department. I enjoyed this advantage when I saw the list of my internal examiners who were all drawn from other departments, and behold, I was in their good book.

Relevance of my topic
Before commencing my write-up, I was given the opportunity to check through topics in trend and situation report on as a Science Educator. My main supervisor and the third supervisor who coincidentally were the seminar coordinators and assistant respectively made me understand that research in Science Education must be experimental, that I must go the field, and that it is all about what I have to proffer as a solution in making teaching and learning of Science better. So my topic and its researchability had to be screened seriously.

And that is why at every stage of my field work, my Supervisory Team were interested to know what was happening. I had my pilot test with the knowledge of all of them, and they confirmed I was there for the purpose. In my field work since I was researching on North West and had three institutions to cover- Zaria, Kano and Katsina, they sought to know and they were aware of all my movement across the three places

Summarily: the following were needed:
Prayer
Hard-work
Good Supervisory Team
Collaboration with other Lecturers in humility
Respect for all
Good PG Coordinator
Relevant topic

I was recently given an award: ‘Award of Excellence in Educational Advancement’ by Nigerian Festival of Awards at Sheraton hotel Abuja

For more information, contact:
Dr. Mrs. Juliet Muoneme
+2348133531441, WhatsApp: +2348092629914

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