What You Should Know About GSP Courses in Nigerian Universities
What are GSP Courses? General Studies Program (GSP) Courses are very popular in our universities here in Nigeria but the concept is not unique to Nigerian tertiary institutions. In higher institutions all oer the world, general courses are common and are usually invented with the aim of getting students acquainted with subjects of study deemed ... Continue Reading
What are GSP Courses?
General Studies Program (GSP) Courses are very popular in our universities here in Nigeria but the concept is not unique to Nigerian tertiary institutions. In higher institutions all oer the world, general courses are common and are usually invented with the aim of getting students acquainted with subjects of study deemed generally important by the existing educational bodies in authority in individual countries.
In Nigeria, the program is termed “General Studies Program (GSP)” by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and all courses under this program are taken by all university students in Nigeria. Some of such courses include the following:
|S/No||Course Title (First Year to Third Year GSP Courses)|
(As Adopted By UNN)
Use of English I
Use of Library Studies
Use of English II
|4.||Natural science I||GSP 105|
|5.||African Humanities, Philosophy and Logic||GSP 207|
|6.||Social Sciences I||GSP 201|
|7.||Nigerian Peoples and Cultures||GSP 208|
|8.||Peace and Conflict Studies||GSP 202|
|9.||Introduction to Entrepreneurship I||CEDR 341|
Introduction to Entrepreneurship II
Purpose of the GSP Courses
The purpose of these General Studies Courses as I have earlier stated is to get the student acquainted with other general subjects of importance outside the scope or field of study of the student’s department or faculty. For instance, from the above list, Science students are not expected to take GSP 105 (Natural Science) because it is expected their science courses will get them very well-informed in that subject area. It is the same scenario for GSP 201 ( for the Social Science students.
GSP 101 (Communication Skills in English Language):
This course teaches students basic things they need to know to be able to communicate in English Language. While taking this course, students are taught about languages, communication and research methods. When I took this course, I was able to learn how to conduct researches or studies and write reports, theses, project works and term papers. You will notice that these are general things students should be able to do while in school and even outside school in order to succeed in any field of study.
GSP 111 (Use of Library Studies):
This course teaches students how to use the library. From searching for the books on shelves, using catalogs, using library books and reference materials, referencing consulted materials during research, sections of the library, types of libraries to the general purpose of the library. I learnt a lot about libraries when I took this course. It was one of my ‘A’ courses in 100 level having played the role of library prefect while in secondary school.
GSP 102 (Functional Skills in English Language):
The major purpose of this course which is usually a continuation of GSP 101 is to teach students functional skills in English Language such as letter writing, phonetics and proper use of sound and intonation in English. Unlike the latter which focuses on communication and basic skills, GSP 102 teaches more practical skills applications as regards English Language. We wrote essays, letters as well as book reviews of literary pieces and novels when I took the course.
GSP 105 (Natural Science):
“Natural Science” as I have earlier pointed out is for students outside Science and Engineering Faculties, those in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Its own purpose is to acquaint such students with the rudiments of basic and integrated science they should know. It exposes them to the basics of elementary physics, chemistry and biology. I did not need to take the course since being an Engineering student.
GSP 207 (African Humanities, Philosophy and Logic):
The above courses mentioned before this are ideally for first year students except in special cases where the students concerned already have enough credits hours and load to bear for the semester involved. GSP 207, on the other hand, is ideally a second year course. The course exposes students to African humanities and philosophy as well as the fundamentals of philosophy and logic. I learnt better how to think philosophically and analyze situations logically and critically as well as how to identify fallacious statements and ideas. I also learnt a lot about African humanities and the importance of preserving our culture as we were asked to read and criticize logically literature such as “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” by Walter Rodney. It was while taking this course that I experienced how you can think yourself to instant hunger even after eating just some minutes before and the need to start duffing my cap for Philosophy students.
GSP 201 ( Introduction to Social Sciences):
This course is directed towards non-social science students in the university in order to let them know more about what their social science counterparts are doing in the university. In my own time, we were taught about social science disciplines such as Economics, Geography, Philosophy, Psychology, religion, Mass Communication, Pubic Administration, Political science, etc. We also learnt a lot about Gender Discrimination and Feminism. It was while taking this course that I realized that Social Science students are indeed not wasting their time in school contrary to what I had earlier thought. The course is also an ‘A’ course.
GSP 208 (History of Nigerian Peoples and Cultures):
This was one of my best GSP courses in second year because I learnt so much about Nigerian history, peoples and cultures. It was in this course that my eyes were opened to the fact that many of us answer the name ‘Nigerian’ without knowing some of the prices our heroes had to pay in order to make our country a reality. This course was also an ‘A’ course for me but the greater joy for me was not the grade I could score but the knowledge of our history and cultures I was able to gain.
GSP 202 (Peace and Conflict Studies):
Peace and Conflict Studies is a course every human being on earth should take. It exposes you to the nature of peace and conflict at individual, group, community, national and international or global levels. Even though there were a few boring parts with regards to theories and dates, I learnt so much about peace building, peace making, peace keeping and conflict management which has made me a better ‘doer’ of the Word *wink* – “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God” – the Beatitudes.
CEDR 341 (Introduction to Entrepreneurship):
One of my best courses also. I mean, who doesn’t want to make money? CEDR is an abbreviation for ” Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and Research”. It is also considered a General Studies course since every university student in Nigeria offers it. The course introduces to the concept of entrepreneurship and various forms and teaches you how to generate a business idea, evaluate it and turn it into a viable opportunity. In my post on “6 facets every educational system should emphasize” and the infographic on “The Importance of Educational Balance to You as a Student”, I explained the importance of entrepreneurship development as a facet of education. I learnt more about what I’m presently doing with Nigerian Scholars – adding value, solving problems and making money out of it – and this is the hallmark of entrepreneurship.
CEDR 342 (Business Plan and Management):
Another very great course which is a continuation of CEDR 341. This course teaches you how to write a business plan and proposal as well as the major fundamentals you need to know about starting and running a business. If you take this course seriously, you will learn to turn business opportunities into successful ventures, make them long-lasting brands and join the ranks of men like Bill Gates of Microsoft, Thomas Edison of General Electric, Henry Ford of General Motors, Steve Jobs of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group and Daniel Ihenetu of Nigerian Scholars *winks*.
I hope my article has been able to well-inform and enlighten you about General Studies (GS) Courses as adopted by Nigerian universities. You need to know that these courses are not to give you unnecessary additional stress in school or to bombard you with extra load, rather they are there too enlighten you more about equally important subjects, concepts and fields of study and to make you of better use to the society.
Students now liken other courses with a lot of theory to GS Courses. I often hear students in school say things such as “Guy, ‘GS’ full that course o.. e be like say na cram and pour we go do for that one”. Don’t be one of such students. ‘GS’ courses are not just stories and theories, they are helping you become more knowledgeable and versatile.
In the coming week, I will be publishing an article on “Tips on scoring an ‘A’ in GS Courses”. So, if you have found this post helpful and enlightening, stay connected because trust me, you don’t want to miss the next one coming. If you have any comments or contributions, the comments box below is all yours. Feel free to correct me, if the course code is different in your school.
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