Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Omenugha warns on negative use of SMS

Head, Department of Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Dr. (Mrs) Kate Azuka Omenugha, has warned on the negative use of Short Message Service (SMS).

She also said that the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), especially mobile phones’ value added service, otherwise known as Short Messaging Service (SMS) may erode the effort at inculcating into Nigerian students the right English spelling of words.

She sounded this note of warning at the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE) Accra-09, which took place at the Centre for Africa Wetlands auditorium, University of Accra, Legon-Ghana on Wednesday, while dwelling on the paper: Nigerian students’ use of information and communication technology – A blessing or a curse?.

Although she applauded the easy acceptance of the benefits of ICT’s value added service, especially the utilization of SMS on mobile phones, stressing that to a large extent, mobile phones have escalated the absolute disregard during written class work, more so for spellings.

“The use of abbreviations creating an impression of a ‘generation in a hurry,’ with the attendant distracting looks of the students,” she said.

Dr. Omenugha also said that notorious sounds of mobile phones either ringing or playing music have not been helpful during class engagement.

“This is quite distracting in the class and over the years we have set punitive measures to erring students,” she asserted, noting that some lecturers have complained of students calling them as late as 1am in order to take advantage of the ‘free air time’ offered by some of the popular telecommunications networks in Nigeria.

She noted that another lecturer had to contend with some explanation to convince his wife one the relationship existing between him and a female student who had the courage to call him at the ‘unholy’ hour because of free air time.

Omenugha equally decried the attitude of some students who choose to play computer games in the class or listen to music using their ear piece while lectures are going on, just as she disclosed that some students record answers in their phones and play back using the ear piece, both cleverly concealed.

In addition, Dr. Omenugha condemned the spread of students downloading information from the internet such as dictionary among others and using same in class work without being authorized.

“Some students given home works would simply download materials from the Net and submit the same to the lecturer. They do not care about plagiarism; neither do they bother with the synthesis of any read work,” she lamented.

She cautioned Nigerian students of the negative use of ICT, adding that this was not to say that they do not make positive use of ICT tools, emphasizing that examining some of the students’ answer scripts has showed that they seem very immersed in the ‘language’ of emails and text messaging which is reflected in their scripts.

Underscoring the fact that SMS or text messaging has become deeply rooted in Nigeria, with particular reference to students in higher institutions, Dr. Omenugha, said that most students have resorted to using abbreviation in written examinations.

Some of the abbreviations used by students could be seen as “Comm = communicate, Nig = Nigeria, pple = people, d = the; luv = love, tech = technology, info = information, comp = computer, & = and.”

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1 comment:

New moon said...

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