Great Amazon
Dr. Mrs. Carol C. Ohen

MRS. Carol Chukwuyem Ohen (PhD) - Director, Academic Planning, College of Education, Agbor

“Failure comes from ego, Greed, envy and imitation. I have success not because I’m smart but Because I’m rational”. -Warren Buffet.

Throughout history, there have been thousands of famous failures. Even before recorded history, people were battling with the push –and-pull created by this burning desire to succeed. This stems beyond mere survival. As Nigerians, survival is built into our DNA – it is part of the very fabric that makes us into who we are. However, human beings were not just made to survive; we were made to thrive. We have been able to expand our knowledge, enhance our technology and vastly improve our quality of life. Still, while we are suffering through the disheartening and gut –wrenching pains of failure, we are often not thinking about thriving, we are solely focused on surviving. When we fail, it makes us question everything, right down to the very heart of who we are and why we have been put here on this earth. But failure, as much as it hurts, is also a necessary part of life. It is the pathway to our goals. The truth is, the most successful and famous people in the world have endured the most failures in life. They have failed repeatedly. But they have also got back up. They did not call it quits or head for the ropes. They got up and kept going. Period. That is just what it takes to succeed.

Today, if you have suffered through failures in the past, or you are going through the torrent of a failure right now, know this – failure will make you better. Failure will improve your life. It will allow you to reach new understandings and epiphanies on life, love, business, career and the people all around you. Failure will make you better!

Yet, it is not enough to talk about failure in that aspect. It is not enough to talk about the theoretical power that failure has. It is far more beneficial to look at some of the most famous people in time like our today’s Amazon Mrs. Carol Ohen (Ph.D) who was unable to achieve her first career choice of becoming a Lawyer. It is far easier for us to rely on their experiences and witness what they had to suffer, than it is to just reflect on failure itself. Remember, you are never too old to try again. It is never too late to take another shot. Some of these famous failures were in their 60’s when they gave it another go such as the famous Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC, who was a wild – eyed 65 – year old when he founded his company, KFC. You get the idea?

Never give up on your hopes and your dreams.

Never allow someone else to tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough or talented enough to achieve greatness in whatever capacity you are seeking. You can do anything you put your mind to. Anything.

From the beginning:

IAS: May we meet you, Madam?

Today’s Amazon: I’m Dr. Carol Chukuyem Ohen. I was born on the 5th of June, 1962 into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Chukuemenonye Eku from Imiele Quarter, Udomi, Abavo. My parents were teachers. Though before the death of my Dad, he went to the United Kingdom to further his Education, since that dream was cut short as a result of the Nigerian Civil War when he was first admitted into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in the department of Estate Management.

When he came back to Nigeria, he picked up a Lecturing job with the department of Estate Management and Town Planning, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State and later went to Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku to Head the Department of Estate Management till his retirement. While my Mom retired from the Delta State Teaching Service as a Headmistress.

I was the second child in a family of 5 and the first female child.

IAS: How was your growing up like?

Dr. (Mrs.) Ohen: Very tough. Recalled that I earlier told you that my Dad left for the United Kingdom to further his Studies, so during this period, life was tough for the entire family since we now solely depended on the meager salary from my Mom. To augment, we got ourselves involved in some entrepreneurial jobs. Every morning, while my Mom would be preparing breakfast and Buns for us, my elder brother and I would be on the street hawking Akamu before going to School. During break period, we usually sold the Buns in the School compound. My mom was also into big time gardening, my siblings and I provided the manual labour for her garden. During holiday period, we made and sold chinchin. The income realized from all these petty hustling was used to support the family.

IAS: Which Primary School did you attend?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I attended St. Mary’s School (now Nkwor Primary School), Udomi, Abavo from 1967-1973.

IAS: Which Secondary School did you attend?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I attended the prestigious Marymount College, Agbor from 1973-1978.

I was a boarding student. Though it was a huge financial burden for my mom, but she says it was in fulfillment of an agreement she had with my Dad that I must be in a boarding school for my secondary Education. I thank God for that singular decision because it made me to be independent minded and well-grounded academically.

IAS: What was your first career choice?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Law. I always wanted to become a Lawyer as a Child. When I did my first JAMB, my first choice was Law. Unfortunately, my WASC result was released late, after University admissions. Another reason that discouraged me from studying Law was this myth that Lawyers are liars…laughs.

IAS: Let’s talk about your tertiary Educational background?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen:

  • University of Nigeria, Nsukka 1979-1983
  • Universite de Langues et Lettres Grenoble 111, France 1981-1982
  • University of Benin, Benin-City 1985-1986
  • University of Benin, Benin-City 1996-2000
  • Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State 2000-2015
  • Centre International d’Etudes Pedaogiques, France (Par CFTD Enugu- Nigeria) June, 2016

IAS: Briefly tell us your various Certificates obtained with dates?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen:

  1. Primary School Leaving Certificate 1973
  2. West African School Certificate (WASC) 1978
  3. Diplome d’Etudes Superieures 1982
  4. B.A. (Hons) French 1983
  5. Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) 1986
  6. M.A. French 2000
  7. Ph.D French 2015
  8. DELF BI 2016
  9. Certificates in Computer 2004,2006, 2019

IAS: Tell us about your NYSC experience

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I did my National Youth Service in 1983/1984 in Army Command Day School, Shadawanka Barracks Bauchi, Bauchi State. My monthly allowance then was two hundred naira (#200) and I was able to save fifty naira (#50) monthly that I used in buying a fridge for three hundred and fifty naira (#350) during my service year. So I enjoyed my service year.

IAS: Tell us about your employment history?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: From 1984 to 1986, I was a part time lecturer in the department of French, School of Humanities, College of Education, Agbor. In 1985 I was employed by the then Bendel State Teaching Service Board as a French teacher in Gbenoba Grammar School, Agbor. In 1992 I was employed into the services of the College of Education, Agbor as a full time Lecturer as Lecturer 111 in the department of French. Presently, I’m the Director of Academic Planning in the College and a Chief Lecturer (Reader) in the department of French.

IAS: Since you joined the services of the College, tell us the various administrative positions you have held?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen:

  • Acting Head of Department, French, College of Education, Agbor 1992-1995
  • Head of Department, French, College of Education, Agbor 2002- 2005
  • Acting Dean, School of Languages, College of Education, Agbor 2005- 2006
  • Dean, School of Languages, College of Education, Agbor 2006-2008
  • Dean, School of Languages, College of Education, Agbor 2008-2010
  • Director, TETfund Research and Development, College of Education, Agbor 2016- 2019
  • Director, Academic Planning 2019 – to date.

IAS: As a two-time Head of Department, please tell us the functions of a HOD?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen:

The following are some of the functions of Head of Department:

  1. The Head of Department is required to lead, manage and develop the department to ensure it achieves the highest possible standard of excellence in all its activities.
  2. He or she is required to exercise leadership, demonstrate vision, and empower others in order to deliver the agreed departmental strategy within the School.
  3. He or she prepares results and submits to the Dean for presentation to the Academic Board.
  4. The Head of Department of French in the College is also responsible for taking the Students out to a Francophone milieu for the Language Immersion Programme and returning them at the end.

IAS: What are the functions of the Dean of a School?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen:

The following are some of the functions of the Dean of a School:

  1. He or she is the administrative Head of the School
  2. He or she coordinates the affairs of the various Departments in the School
  3. He or she is a member of the College Management Committee (CMC)
  4. He or she is the chief manager of the School resources
  5. He or she is a member of the Senior Staff Appointments and Promotions Committee (SSA & PC)
  6. He or she evaluates the Heads of Departments, administrators and other support staff in the school.
  7. He or she recommends to the Provost regarding sabbatical and other leaves for the teaching and non-teaching staff.

IAS: Presently, as the Director of Academic Planning, what are your functions?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: As the Director of Academic Planning in the College, my functions include but not limited to the following:

  • Signing of TETfund approved trainings and conferences for members of staff
  • In charge of Inaugural lecture series
  • In charge of Eminent lecture series
  • Recommendation of External Assessors and Distribution and retrieval of Lecturers’ parcels for Principal and Chief Lecturers’ promotions to and from External Assessors.

IAS: Let’s talk about your family life?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Hmmmm! Well, I was married to late Mr. Obed Ephraim Ohen. He was a lecturer in the Department of Biology, College of Education, Agbor before his death. We got married in 1987 and the marriage lasted for 14 years. I had a very peaceful and blissful marriage with my late husband and we were blessed with 4 Children, all males. To the glory of God, they are now all graduates.

IAS: Tell us some of the National Committees that you have served with dates

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: To the glory of God, I have served in the following National Committees:

  • Item writer (French), MPCE, JAMB 1998-2008
  • Moderator (French), MPCE, JAMB 2000-2008
  • Item writer (French), UTMB 2008-Date
  • Moderator (French), UTMB 2008-Date
  • Secretary, Editorial Board, Inter-CAFT REVUE 2004-2008
  • Member, National Commission for College of Education (NCCE) Accreditation Panel, Rivers State College of Education, Omoku, Port-Harcourt, River State 2007
  • Editor, INTER-CAFT REVUE 2009- Date
  • JAMB Syllabus Review Committee (French), Abuja, 2014
  • Chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC),17th Annual National Conference of National Association for Research and Development (NARD), held in College of Education, Agbor 10th-14th September, 2018
  • Member, Committee on the Review of 2012 Edition of NCE Minimum Standards for Languages by National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) held in Kano 2018
  • Member, Committee on the Review of 2012 Edition of NCE Curriculum Implementation Framework by National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) held in Owerri 2019
  • External Examiner (French), College of Education, Ekiadolor, Benin-City 2008-201.
  • External Examiner: (French), College of Education, Warri, Delta State. 2009-2011
  • External Examiner: (French), College of Education, Warri, Delta State. 2014- Date
  • External Assessor, Document/Publications of lecturers from other Colleges applying for promotion to the ranks of Principal and Chief Lecturers 2011 – Date.

IAS: Tell us the Committees that you have served within College of Education, Agbor

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: To the glory of God, I have been privileged to serve in the following Committees since I joined the services of the College. They are:

  1. Member, The Inspectorate Committee for Staff Model Secondary/Primary School, COE, Agbor 1996
  2. Associate Editor, Agbor Journal of Language & Literary Studies (AJOLLS) 1998-Date
  3. Member, Friends of Students Committee 1999-2009
  4. Member, Dressing Ethics Committee 2004-2010
  5. Member, College Management Committee 2005-2010; 2019- Date
  6. Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Studies in Education (JOSTED), COE, Agbor. 2012-Date
  7. Member, Executive Committee of College of Education Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society (COESCOS) 2016-Date
  8. Chairman, Editorial Board, Journal of Studies in Education (JOSTED), COE, Agbor. 2016-Date
  9. Member, Ad-hoc Committee on the workshop by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) on the review of 2012 Edition of the NCE Minimum Standards (Sciences) hosted by the College, 23rd – 27th April, 2018
  10. Chairman, Local Organizing Committee 1st Annual National Conference of the School of Languages, College of Education, Agbor, 15th-18th May, 2018
  11. Member, Committee on IJMB Matters (Interim Joint Matriculation Board, Ahmadu Bello University Programme in the College) 2017
  12. Member, Ad-hoc Committee on NCCE Workshop in the College 2018
  13. Member, Academic Research Journal Committee 2019.
  14. Member, Appraisal Committee 2019-Date.

IAS: As a Scholar, tell us some of the professional bodies that you belong to?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: They include the following:

  • Member, West African Languages and Linguistics Teachers Association of Nigeria (WALLTA) 2002-2010
  • Member, Nigeria Association of French Teachers (NAFT) 1990-1999
  • Member, Inter- College of Association of French Teachers (INTER-CAFT) 1999-Date
  • Member, Modern Languages Association of Nigeria (MLAN) 2000-2010
  • Member, International Institute on Research & Development 2012-Date
  • Member, Teacher Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN)
  • Chairman, WICE (Professional Women in College of Education) COE, Agbor Chapter 2009-2013
  • Member, Research and Development Network, International Research and Development Institute 2012 –Date
  • Member, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Nigeria 2019- Date

IAS: As the former Chairperson of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE) Agbor Chapter, what are your achievements?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Without blowing my trumpets, as the Chairman of WICE, College of Education, Agbor Chapter from 2009- 2013, my team and I left a legacy worthy of emulation. My team acquired a piece of land in the College for the building of WICE Secretariat. We also bought a strong bus which is still being used by the Chapter till date. I also inaugurated WICE, College of Education, Mosogar Chapter in February 2012.

IAS: How do you socialise?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Hmmm. I socialise through the various social/cultural organizations that I belong to, some of these are:

  1. Member, Awu Gha Ihun, COE, Agbor
  2. Member, Owa Rin Nma, COE, Agbor
  3. Pioneer member, WICE, COE Agbor.
  4. The Social Media

IAS: Any awards?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Yesooo. A lot!

  • Award of one Month Scholarship to Foumban, Cameroun by the French Embassy in Nigeria 1980
  • Award of One Month Scholarship to Montpellier, France by the French Embassy in Nigeria. 2002
  • Award of one Month scholarship to Besancon, France by the French Embassy in Nigeria. 2005
  • Award of Excellence in Education by INTER-CAFT (Inter- College Association of French Teachers) 2009
  • Award of two Weeks Scholarship to Lome, Togo by the French Embassy in Nigeria 2009
  • Award of one Month Scholarship to Besancon, France by the French Embassy in Nigeria 2010
  • National Academic Medal of Honour Award for Innovative Contribution towards the Development of Education in Nigeria by AFRINEWS Independent Magazine 2013
  • Award of Excellence in the Academia by Women in Colleges of Education (WICE) South- South Zone 2019
  • Award of Excellence in Education by the School of Languages, COE, Agbor 2019

IAS: Do you have any regrets in studying French?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: No. Not at all.

IAS: How many published Academic papers do you have in reputable Journals

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Over 30 Academic papers in both National and International Journals of repute.

IAS: What is your Research focus?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: African Literature in French.

IAS: Let’s talk about your Christian faith.

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: I belong to Baptist Church. I’m a Sunday School Teacher, a chorister, a deaconess, a preacher, Bible Study Teacher, Disciple’s Lifestyle Director and a marriage counsellor.

IAS: Who is your role model?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Professor Jiff Mokobia

IAS: Tell us your best quote.

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: “My tomorrow will be better than my today”

IAS: Tell us one childhood story that your Mother told you that is difficult for you to forget?

Dr. (Mrs.) Ohen: Hmmmm! My mother once told me that her own father was summoned on three different occasions by the Council of Elders for sending his female child to School. My mother one of the first women to be educated in Abavo Kingdom.

IAS: Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen, a teacher, a mother, an actor, a singer and a language enthusiast. Who else is Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen is also a Businesswoman.

IAS: What is your philosophy about giving?

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: “I that believe when you give to take care of other people, God takes care of your own needs”

IAS: Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen, it is nice talking with you. What is your “Nextlevel”

Dr.(Mrs.) Ohen: God bless you my brother, Ewere Okonta. I feel honoured to be your Guest of the day in your Ika Amazon Series. I have been reading your works and I found them impressive. God will take you to greater heights in Jesus Name. Back to your question about my “Nextlevel”. Hmmmmm, my “Nextlevel” is to take care of indigent students and also to take care of Student Pastors.

NOTE FROM US:

Mrs. Carol Chukuyem Ohen (Ph.D) is presently the Director of Academic Planning in the College of Education, Agbor. The first and only female Dean till date in the School of Languges, COE, Agbor. The first Reader in French Department and the first female Reader, School of Languages. The first Ph.D holder in the French Department of the COE, Agbor. The pioneer Head, Department of French when it was reopened in 1992. A two-time Head of Department, a two-time Dean of the School of Languages and a two-time Director of TETfund Research and Development in College of Education, Agbor. A bi-linguist. A silent achiever. A trailblazer and a worker in the vineyard of God. A good mobiliser of human and material resources. A role model. One of the finest Amazons from Ika Nation. Her story is a beautiful one that is laced with full dosage of determination and perseverance.

Amazon Mrs. Carol Chukuyem Ohen (PhD) ‘Felicitations et Meilleurs Voeux’ on your INDUCTION INTO THE IKA AMAZON HALL OF FAME 2019.

© Ewere Okonta