Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri

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26TH CONVOCATION ADDRESS

 

 

dsc_0001AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE PROVOST OF ALVAN IKOKU FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, OWERRI, DR. (MRS.) BLESSING C. IJIOMA AT THE 26TH CONVOCATION CEREMONY TODAY, 8TH DECEMBER, 2016

 

PROTOCOL

It is with great, heartfelt joy and pleasure that I welcome everyone to Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri for our 26th Convocation ceremony. This College has had a rather eventful year and it is befitting that we end it by formally graduating our students. Today, we celebrate our National Certificate in Education (NCE) and Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) graduates. We are also bestowing Fellowships on remarkable Nigerians who have impacted the society positively.

Generally speaking, Convocation is a time for blowing the trumpets of joy as it marks the successful completion of the academic journey. Just as we always admonish our students during Matriculation, it is during Convocation that the prizes are given out. Thus, this ceremony celebrates those students who have adhered to their Matriculation oaths and obeyed all the rules and regulations of the College. Finally, these students have been found worthy in character and learning.

Like I alluded earlier on, our College has had an eventful year. This year, the College had two major accreditation exercises by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE). We are happy to announce that all our 24 Bachelor of Education Programmes in affiliation with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka have full accreditation. We are still expecting the results from NCCE for the NCE Programmes.

Our College also held its 1st Inaugural Lecture and also hosted the Annual Congress of the Nigerian Academy of Education (NAE), the premier association of Education academics in the country. In the same vein, the College hosted the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), 2ND Technical Committee meeting with admission officers from all the Tertiary Institutions in the country in attendance. All these indicate that the College is boldly stepping into its pride of place in the educational space in Nigeria.

Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri is a famous and foremost College of Education in Nigeria. As the primus Interpares among Colleges of Education, and located in the capital city of Imo State; a state that gives education a pride of place, it behoves that we pull our weight. In the few years that we have been here, this Management has done a lot of work to make Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education great again.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, the College has witnessed great infrastructural development. We have added new Lecture Theatres, Workshops and Laboratories. Buildings like the Micro-Teaching Lab, the ICT Resource Centre with 600 computer workstations, the Computer-Based Test seminar room with 200 PCs came online about two years ago. The School of Social Sciences Building and the School of General Studies building were completed not long ago. We have also attracted a bridge, now completed, across the Nworie River by the Ecological Fund Unit of the Federal Government. This is a monumental feat as the College begins the next phase of finally expanding across the River.

Our Laboratories, workshops and libraries have received a make-over. We have installed state of the art equipment in the Labs and brought them up to acceptable standards. This administration has also increased the digital footprint of the College by revamping the College Website and automating most of the registration and fee collecting processes. We are working hard to complete the Internet WiFi across all the main areas of the College. Many Staff have already started using their @alvanIkoku.edu.ng email domain addresses for their research and work correspondence as is done worldwide.

I must at this stage commend the Federal Government and its agencies, especially the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the Ecological Fund, for support in making these giant strides in infrastructure and facilities development possible. We also acknowledge the contributions of the Imo State Government in assisting us to have a conducive environment in which we operate. On our own part we have judiciously used all resources accruing to the College and this is evident in the physical outlook of the Campus.

One of the cornerstones of the success of this administration and the resurgence in the fortunes of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri has been the quality of the work force, both teaching and non-teaching. Staff training and capacity development have been pursued vigorously. At last count we have sponsored over 300 staff to local and international conferences, workshops and seminars in the last couple of years. We have also mounted in-house seminars and workshops to enable more staff to benefit.

Some academic staff have been successfully sponsored for various post-graduate degrees overseas and have come back to improve the system. Scores of our staff are also in various universities in Nigeria studying to improve themselves. The net effect is that the quality of teaching and learning in this College is now comparable to many universities across the nation. No wonder our student enrollment for the National Certificate in Education (NCE) have continued to dwindle drastically as more students prefer to enroll in our Bachelors Degree programmes in affiliation with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

We have also encouraged and trained our academic staff to take advantage of research grants and funds, many of which are available in the country and beyond. So far, exciting researches have been concluded in the areas of General Education, as well as Science and Art Education. Many Text books in Education, Sciences and the Arts have been published as a fallout from such research work. Our joy is that the culture of research has been re-ignited in this Institution.

Recently too, we have started new programmes in Technical Education, Adult and Non-Formal Education, Vocational Education and Special Education. These courses have become mandatory as emphasis shifts to developing a workforce that is entrepreneurial, as well as technical. We are working towards becoming a Centre of Excellence for Special Education in the South-East. These new programmes have undergone resource inspection and are awaiting accreditation.

The Centre for Entrepreneurship for Education with the Department of Entrepreneurship together have devised strategies to make students receive mandatory instruction and classes geared towards developing their business and technical skills. It has yielded fruit with many students expressing their joy and happiness at picking up extra skills and vocations.

At this juncture I must remark that our administration has been very student-friendly. When I became Provost, the hostels were in a bad shape, and students had challenges with lack of lecture halls and classrooms and other facilities such as laboratories and studios. There were also acute shortage of staff offices and conveniences. We started by improving the conditions of the hostels, many of which had been built in the 1970s and were in great disrepair. New and efficient toilets were installed, the cleaning and the number of caregiving-hostel staff was increased and a clamp down on student harassment was enforced.

The Student Union Governments were encouraged by non-interference in their affairs and appropriated funds were duly released. We encouraged the religious fellowship groups and various clubs and even integrated them during College functions. Management supported the student security arm of the SUG providing uniforms and equipment like walkie-talkies and giving them an office space. The various arms of the SUG were given leadership training immediately after election to office to deepen their understanding of the processes and preparedness for positions of responsibility.

I believe that the Alvan students of today are better off than their recent predecessors. The facilities they study in are some of the best in the country, they have quality and highly motivated lecturers and the environment is progressively conducive for learning. This assertion is evident in the increasingly high number of candidates who now apply for a place in our College every year.

In our interactions with students, we have always taught and preached diplomacy and negotiations. We believe that such conversations are the hallmarks of democracy. It is sad to see that students, who are the leaders of tomorrow, are still keen to engage in violent and destructive mob action whenever there is a difference of opinion. Unfortunately, such actions do not favour anyone, neither Management, staff nor the students themselves. Nigerian students must always remember that these certificates are given out to deserving individuals who are deemed fit in character and in learning. And that ‘character’ comes first.

On that note, we call on the Federal Government to continue its assistance to the College. This will enable us to provide more facilities to both staff and students especially in the building of new lecture rooms, staff offices, laboratories, expansion of the College wide Internet coverage, the renovation of old student hostels and the building of new ones.

The entire Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Community appreciates the Honorable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu ably represented by the Honorable Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, the Executive Secretary of National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Bappa-Aliyu Muhammadu, and all the representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education and the NCCE, especially members of the College Expanded Management, in today’s event and calls upon the Federal Government of Nigeria to kindly uplift the College to a University. This will enable us better maximize the facilities and personnel available and contribute more to the Nigerian education system. The College, today has selected three Nigerians who have contributed immensely to the growth of education in Nigeria to be installed as Fellows of the College. They are Dr. Gregory Ibe, Prof. Nicholas Ada and Chief (Mrs.) Okonkwo.

I also call on today’s graduands to move into the world with confidence and boldness. The education you received here is guaranteed to make you deploy your mind and God-given talents positively. This will launch you on the path of success. Whatever you do, remember to put your trust in God and work for the benefit of humanity. The world is changing and changing fast. White-collar jobs are not assured anymore, so be flexible because the job market is. Remember also to keep your eyes open for opportunities in the small and medium enterprise sector, agriculture and information technology for these are areas of great opportunities for the future in Nigeria. Beyond the sky is your limit.

Before I take my seat, may I once more thank all our distinguished guests for honouring our invitations. I thank members of my Management team, the Convocation Committee, and indeed all staff and students of this great College who have worked, sometimes into the night, to create this success story. I also recognize my husband and family members who are present in this ceremony to support me as usual.

To the Fellowship awardees and our fresh graduands, let me remind you that gold does not rust. So shine on. Shine brighter. Shine brightest.

Thank you all and may God bless us.

 

Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma

Provost

 

 

 

 

 

College holds 1st Inaugural Lecture

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The 1st Inaugural Lecture of the College was successfully held on Thursday, 18th August, 2016 in accordance with the National Commission for Colleges of Education’s directive that Colleges, like Universities, should start holding Inaugural Lecture series. The epoch making event was graced by the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Bappa-Aliyu Muhammad.

The Provost, Dr. Blessing Ijioma had the honour of taking the first shot and in her lecture titled “Sustaining Developments in Science and Technology Education in Nigeria through functional research,” she traced the trajectory of Science Education in our schools from the colonial era to modern times. She earmarked 1977 as a pivotal date in science education in the country with the introduction of the National Policy in Education that year, and the subsequent transformations in the curriculum and teaching of Science and Technology Education (STE).

The Lecturer worked to draw a relationship between Science and Technology Education and human needs. She said, “If the processes, products and attitudes in science as well as meaningfully engaging approaches developed by science educators are missing then Science Education is not functional.”

Dr. Ijioma revealed most of her research from over two decades of academic work, many of which have contributed in improving the yields and nutrition level of common foods. A Microbiologist, Food Scientist and Educator, the Provost illustrated functional research in Mushroom production, Soybean fufu flour, and Egusi patties all targeted towards increasing the protein content in traditional Nigerian staple.

The Lecture also revealed the role of research as a mechanism for generating feedback to governments and agencies on ways to make Science and Technology Education more effective and functional. Examples were given of research needed to appraise curriculum, emergent issues in science and technology, current teaching and learning methodologies, impact assessment of interventionist programmes and sustainability efforts.

She highlighted the many challenges facing STE, some of which include paucity of funds, poorly equipped laboratories and workshops, ill-trained science teachers lacking the requisite ICT skills, lack of a culture of hardwork, and corruption.

While making suggestions for increased funding from all stakeholders, regular capacity building of the teachers – especially in bridging the knowledge gap between teachers in urban and rural areas, curriculum review and implementation, she concluded by reiterating that “a country’s most important asset is its human capital. The role of Science and Technology in national development is well known globally and the difference between developed and developing countries is the extent to which each has deployed technology in everyday activities.”

The 1st Inaugural Lecture of the College was attended by a massive audience that filled the 1000 seater Auditorium. Some of the guests included top government functionaries, professors and members of the academia, private sector players, captains of industry, the clergy, traditional rulers, students and the general public. As tradition demands, a procession of Chief Lecturers and Heads of Departments anchored by the Executive Secretary of NCCE ushered the 1st Inaugural Lecturer into the auditorium.

The Inaugural Lecture/Public Lectures series have now become instituted as a regular feature in the College calendar. The series is designed to illuminate the academic work and research of the Chief Lecturers in the system with a view to harnessing ideas and means to shape our country and make it a better place. As Dr. Ijioma opined in her lecture, “our researchers are advised here to stay longer with the problems in their minds and laboratories until answers are discovered.”  She goes on to say that when such answers are obtained they must be used to change Nigeria for the better.

She concluded by quoting Albert Einstein who said: “It is not that I am so smart, it is just that I stay with problems longer”.

 

 

ADDRESS BY THE PROVOST, ALVAN IKOKU FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, OWERRI, DR. BLESSING C. IJIOMA ON THE OCCASION OF THE 38TH MATRICULATION CEREMONY OF THE COLLEGE.

 

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I welcome everyone gathered here today for the 2015/2016 matriculation ceremony. Matriculation marks the formal start of a student’s academic sojourn in this College. On that note, I want to formally welcome our freshmen and women to this our revered institution and to congratulate them on securing admission here

My dear students, securing admission to this premier College of Education is no mean feat. I want to inform them that the clock has started ticking. You are the fortunate few from several thousand applicants, so take this as a great opportunity that must be fully utilized. Do not waste any time whatsoever as you strive to graduate with excellent results.

The Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri is a foremost College of Education that has produced a long line of distinguished teachers, administrators, businessmen, political leaders and the clergy. This College is synonymous with excellence in teacher education and for over fifty years has maintained the track record of excellence. Indeed we are known as the primus interpares, that is first among equals in Colleges of Education across Nigeria. Our history predates that of Imo State, going back to the early days of Independence and the defunct Eastern Nigeria. The impact of this institution in the educational landscape of Nigeria cannot be quantified as there is hardly any public school, especially in the Eastern part of the country, where our graduates do not teach.

Since this administration, we have conscientiously worked hard to maintain the pedigree and rich history of this College. We have steadfastly improved the infrastructure and the human capital resource. A look around the College proves us right. In the last two months the Social Sciences block was completed over at the Shell Camp Campus. The edifice houses several lecture halls and scores of offices for our staff. The old Provost office has been demolished and in its place a multi-storey office block building is being erected to provide decent and ample office accommodation for our staff. Our library, laboratories and workshops are continually upgraded as we continue to lay emphasis on the student acquiring both the theoretical and practical knowledge.

Great effort and funds have gone into making the facilities comfortable and functional. The Federal Government and its agencies have helped tremendously to enable this College return to its glory days. We are indeed grateful.

Last year we set up new courses in Technical Education, Special Education and Entrepreneurship studies. These departments are now matriculating its students. All over the world technical and entrepreneurial skills are being highlighted as these are the hottest tickets to success in the knowledge based IT driven economy of the 21st century. Alvan Ikoku has keyed into the policy of the Federal Government and set up these departments to equip our children for the future. We promise to ensure that these new departments and all our programmes continue to get the resources they need to give the best to our students.

The health and safety of our students is always paramount in our actions. To make the environment cleaner and healthier we have in the past couple of weeks pulled down the decades old refectory and moved the food vendors and service providers to a brand new plaza behind G-Hostel. Our students are encouraged to shun road side food stalls and instead patronize clean and decent places. A few years ago I gave a warning concerning Ebola disease. This year we must continue our vigilance especially in the light of the Lassa fever outbreak caused primarily by rats.

Students are strongly encouraged to help keep the environment clean. Keep your corners neat and tidy and properly use the toilets. Let us all behave like educated and civilized people. The College spends a lot of money to keep the campuses clean and all hands must be on deck to keep sickness and disease at bay.

The College Health Centre is open 24 hours a day and the Student Health Insurance Programme is now running. The doctors are professional and will give you the best advice available. Students must never self-medicate or patronise quacks.

Now to sound a note of warning: The College has banned indecent dressing, examination malpractices and “sorting” and deals decisively with all offenders. The consequence of exam malpractice is expulsion. Cultism is banned in this College. Report all suspicious movements and behaviour to the student security or the College security officials. We will arrest, expel and hand over to the security agencies, any student caught engaging in cult and criminal activities.

Also this administration does not tolerate exploitation and intimidation of students. We have established agencies like the ICPC backed Anti-Corruption Unit and the SERVICOM unit to checkmate all acts of exploitation. Any student with genuine complaints should not hesitate to reach out to these units. Students are advised to respect all staff, whether academic or non-academic. Listen and follow all the instructions from the departments and the registry unit. It will help guide and inform you.

I call on all the matriculants to note that all fees should be paid into designated bank accounts. Never give cash to fellow students or other third parties to pay for you. The College will not entertain any complaints that arise from a breach of these instructions.

I wish you all good luck in your academic pursuits. You have made a right decision to come to study in our College. Today you have begun a journey to join the elite band of graduates of this institution. However this is just the beginning. The certificates and the prizes are given out at the end. Success is dependent on the depth of your knowledge base and the practical demonstration of your skills. So, endeavour to develop your all round skills, go digital and above all learn to trust in God.

Finally, I thank the parents, guardians, well-wishers, guests and the media for coming to celebrate with our matriculating students. I assure parents that their children and wards have come to a good College that will help them nurture their talent. I also thank the matriculation committee for a job well done.

Thank you all and God Bless.

Dr. Blessing C. Ijioma

Provost

 

 

 

PROVOST BAGS FELLOW OF THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF NIGERIA

The Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma

The Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma

The Provost of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Dr.  Blessing Ijioma has been conferred with the Fellowship of the Astronomical Society of Nigeria (ASN).

The ceremony which took place recently at the Centre for Energy Research and Development at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka was in recognition of the Provost’s efforts and contributions towards the growth and development of space science in Nigeria.

In her response after receiving the Fellowship, the Provost thanked the President and members of the Society for finding her worthy of the award. She stated that as the head of the foremost College of Education in Nigeria her dream was to produce scientifically and technologically efficient teachers that would go to the secondary and primary schools to boost interest of our students in science and technology because “no nation can grow economically and socially without a solid technological base.” She posited that the award will serve as a veritable tonic to her for greater efforts and promised the Society of her continued support and encouragement towards its activities.

Earlier in his conferment speech, the President of the Astronomical Society of Nigeria (ASN), Professor Augustine Ubachukwu who is also the Dean, School of Post-Graduate Studies of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka said the Society was impressed with the training of Basic Space Science teachers in secondary schools organised by the College in addition to hosting the biggest Basic Space Science workshop in the country where teachers were exposed to various space science theories and methodologies and skywatching sessions.

The College, under Dr. Blessing Ijioma, has become a major hub for Basic Space Science and this has led to the publication of a text for use in schools which has gone a long way in motivating teachers and students to develop keen interest in space science technology.

The award ceremony coincided with the 5th National Conference of the ASN and witnessed the presence of eminent scientists in Physics and Astronomy in Nigeria including Professor Emeritus P.N Okeke, the President of the African Astronomical Society.

ALVAN CELEBRATES UN 70TH ANNIVERSARY WITH POMP AND PAGEANTRY

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The United Nations has been commended for reiterating that the fight against hunger is one that concerns everyone and not just the agricultural sector or specialized agencies. The Provost of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma made the call during the 2015 UN Day celebrations in her College.

The Provost, in her speech, also held that “As an academic institution that produces agricultural science teachers, we understand the need to imbue our students with knowledge of agricultural entrepreneurship alongside that of teaching them about improved farm yields and responsible farming methods.”

Earlier on, the guest lecturer, Dr. Chijioke Osuji, an Associate Professor of Food Science and Technology in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri encouraged students and young people to get involved in the agricultural value chain process, stating that with more hands engaged in food production and distribution Nigeria will be on the road to Zero Hunger. He made these remarks while delivering a lecture on the theme, Zero Hunger Challenge: United for a Sustainable world.

Mr. Hillary Ozoh from the UNICEF office in Enugu represented the UN Resident Director at the event. The colourful ceremony also featured a Roundtable on healthy soil for healthy life, dance-drama, poetry, music and audience perspectives on hunger and migration.

The UN Day is an annual event in the College in recognition of the technical assistance which the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) provided in 1963 during the establishment of the then Advanced Teachers Training College which metamorphosed into the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.

It will be recalled that the United Nations celebrated 70 years of existence this year having been founded on 24th October, 1945.  Dr. Blessing Ijioma, speaking on the newly unveiled Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) said: “a close collaboration with the UN will enable us to better contribute our quota to Nigeria’s efforts to meet the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Goals no. 4, on quality education, fall under the purview of a college of education like ours which is primarily tasked with the job of producing teachers for the various levels of education; and quality teachers, as we all know, is the fulcrum for quality education and consequently sustainable development.”

THE 2015 UN DAY CELEBRATIONS IN ALVAN

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A news commentary broadcast on Radio Nigeria Heartland FM, Owerri on 24thOctober, 2015 (UN Day )

 

Immediately after the Second World War, the Allied Powers, comprising a coalition of Britain, China, USSR, USA and France, also referred to as Super Powers, which defeated Italy, Germany and Japan decided to set up an international peace-keeping body known as the United Nations Organisation (U.N.O.) as a replacement for the then failed League of Nations. The United Nations, as an intergovernmental, international organisation was founded on 24thOctober, 1945 to promote international cooperation and commitment to maintaining international peace and security, development of friendly relations among nations, and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

In a bid to achieve the objectives of the organisation, the U.N. charter provided for six major bodies. These are the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. Others are the Trusteeship Council, the Secretariat and the International Court for the Promotion of Peace and Security.

Although best known for peacekeeping, peace building, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its specialized agencies, funds and programmes affect every human society and make the world a better place. The organisations work on a broad range of fundamental issues from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promotion of democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, socio-economic development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and co-ordinate efforts for a safer world for the present and future generations.

In order to make known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the 193 member nation body, and to gain support for its work, the UN General Assembly in 1947 declared October 24 the anniversary of the charter of the organisation. This explains why the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, which is historically closely tied to the United Nations always gives the UN Day a pride of place in the academic calendar.

A journey down memory lane reveals that in 1963, when the then Eastern Region Government of Nigeria established the Advanced Teachers Training College (ATTC), in the old Shell Camp quarters, Owerri, it was with the technical assistance from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The first Principal, Mr. A. J. Brooks was a UNESCO expatriate who laid the foundations for an institution that has today grown in leaps and bounds to become the best College of Education in the country. Under the tutelage of the Federal Government, the College has become a centre of excellence in teacher education. It is thus fitting that the College joins millions of others across the globe to celebrate the UN Day with pomp and pageantry.

As the 2015 UN Day falls on a weekend the College will formally mark the celebrations on Monday 26th October at the College auditorium. A number of activities such as dance drama, debate, poetry, parade, art exhibition, raising of flags, and a thematic lecture as well as a Roundtable all anchored on the UN ethos have been lined up to mark the day.

The observance of the UN Day in our College for the first time, last year, was a success. This year the UN has extended a hand of fellowship by sending a special delegate to represent the UN envoy in Nigeria.

In the last few years the College has realized the need to aggressively reach out and network with many organisations, institutions and agencies: governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental. This is the modern trend in higher education where linkages and collaborations are leveraged to broaden horizons and to interface with different cultures. In the case of the UN, a close collaboration will enable us to better contribute our quota to Nigeria’s efforts to meet the newly unveiled Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN theme for 2015, is “Zero Hunger Challenge: United for a Sustainable World.” The UN is saying that the challenge of eradicating hunger is one that concerns everyone, and not just the agricultural sector or specialised agencies. While we are at this, we must not damage the environment so that future earth will remain arable. As an institution that engages in research and produces agricultural science teachers, we understand the need to imbue our students with knowledge of agricultural entrepreneurship alongside that of teaching them about improved farm yields. Staff at Alvan have been exposed to several workshops and programmes on modern agricultural systems and our curriculum has been expanded to include teaching young people the need to engage in the food production business.

This is with a view to producing graduates who are second to none in learning and character, who will understand the need to live in peace, respect for human rights, gender equality and women empowerment; the need for tolerance, economic and social development, self-reliance as well as the need to imbibe the fundamental ideals of the UN.

To this extent, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri wishes all peoples of the world a happy United Nations Day celebration.

 

 

Provost’s Address on 37th Matriculation

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ADDRESS BY THE PROVOST, ALVAN IKOKU FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, OWERRI, DR. BLESSING C. IJIOMA ON THE OCASSION OF THE 37TH MATRICULATION CEREMONY OF THE COLLEGE.

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It is with great pleasure that I welcome everyone to this Matriculation ceremony. Matriculation traditionally marks the commencement of studies for students in an academic institution and students pledge to abide by the rules of the institution. I welcome especially all the freshmen and women who will be matriculating today. Congratulations on securing a place in this prestigious citadel of learning.

My dear students, securing admission to this premier College of Education is no mean feat. You are the fortunate few from over ten thousand applicants, so take this as a great opportunity that must be fully utilized. Keep your eyes on the goal which is to graduate with excellent results.

Alvan Ikoku is a foremost College of Education that has produced a long line of distinguished teachers, administrators, businessmen, political leaders and the clergy. This College, which you are now part of, is synonymous with excellence in teacher education and for over fifty years has maintained the track record of excellence. Our history is tied with the history of this great nation and we have continuously played a part in developing the youth of every generation since independence. Today, it is the turn of your generation: and a wonderful privilege that must not be toyed with.

Our parents and students will see that infrastructure around the College is modern and in good shape. Great efforts and funds have gone into making the facilities comfortable and functional. The Federal Government and its agencies have helped tremendously to enable this College return to its glory days. We are indeed grateful.

Recently we have set up new courses like Technical Education, Special Education and Entrepreneurship studies. These departments are being equipped as well as the erecting of a massive ICT building that will house 600 computer workstations for teaching students. We expect that when you graduate here you will have highly developed practical skills. A new Micro-Teaching Lab will be ready in a couple of weeks and will go a long way in developing your teaching skills.

The development around the College also extends to human capital. We have vigorously undertaken the training and retraining of our staff, both academic and non-academic. Hundreds of staff have gone back to Post-Graduate schools within and outside the country to upgrade their qualifications. The TETFUND must be commended for meticulous investment in the nation’s manpower needs. Thus our students should expect to be exposed to modern ideas and global best practices.

At this point in my speech last year I made a clarion call for cleanliness and health vigilance in the hostels. Then the world was facing the Ebola Virus disease epidemic. This year – yes, the Ebola outbreak has been contained – cleanliness still remains the watchword. Regularly washing hands with soap and water is still in vogue as is proper use of the toilets and bathrooms. As we pursue academic laurels, let us remember that cleanliness is next to Godliness.

We have a functional Medical Centre. Students must use its services and avoid the temptation of self-medication. The doctors are professional and will give you the best advice available. Students must never self-medicate or patronise quacks. Last year we expelled a female student who was running a quack ‘abortion clinic’ right there in the hostels. Our Counseling Service is fully functional and staffed with professional counselors who will help you handle some of the pressures of life.

My dear students, many of you are young and energetic. As such you must be careful during the period of the General Elections. Refuse to be used by unscrupulous politicians as thugs and elements for election malpractice. Remain law abiding citizens and focus on your academics. As students, you are your own first security officer. Be vigilant, avoid late night movements, and report all suspicious items and persons to the student security officials or the chief security officer and his men.

Now to sound a note of warning: The College has banned indecent dressing, examination malpractices and “sorting” and deals decisively with all offenders. The consequence of exam malpractice is expulsion. To be forewarned is to be fore armed.

On the other hand this administration does not tolerate exploitation and intimidation of students. We have established agencies like the ICPC backed Anti-Corruption Unit and the SERVICOM unit to checkmate all acts of exploitation. Any student with genuine complaints should not hesitate to reach out to these units.

I call on all the matriculants to note that all fees should be paid into designated bank accounts. Never give cash to fellow students or other third parties to pay for you. The College will not entertain any complaints that arise from a breach of these instructions.

I wish you all good luck as you begin your academic pursuits. Today, knowledge and learning have expanded to great and many frontiers. Survival is dependent on how flexible you are, the depth of your knowledge base and the practical demonstration of your skills. So, endeavor to develop your all round skills, go digital and above all learn to trust in God.

Finally, I thank the parents, guardians, well-wishers, guests and the media for coming to celebrate with our matriculating students. I assure parents that their children and wards have come to a good College that will help them nurture their talent. I also thank the matriculation committee for a job well done.

Thank you all and God Bless.

Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma

Provost

Youth and Radio: UNESCO WORLD RADIO DAY 2015

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Text of a News Talk sponsored by the College as part of celebrations marking the 2015 World Radio Day 2015 on Radio Nigeria.

February 13 is World Radio Day as was officially proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its 36th General Conference. In December 2012, the General Assembly of the United Nations endorsed the proclamation, thereby making February 13, a day to be celebrated by all UN agencies and partners like Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. It will be recalled that Alvan was established in 1963 through the collaboration of the defunct Eastern Nigeria government and UNESCO.

The importance of celebrating World Radio Day cannot be over-emphasized considering the enormous role the Radio plays in the lives of people. Radio is not only used as a medium for education but also employed as a good means of information dissemination and entertainment. As radio continues to evolve in the digital age, it remains the medium that reaches the widest audience world wide evoking healthy cross fertilization of ideas through social interactions, discussions, public debates, quiz, poetry, exhibitions/demonstrations of inventions and materials. February 13, 2015 is therefore being celebrated as World Radio Day by the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri in line with the ideals of the United Nations.

This year’s theme is “Youth and Radio”. The idea for this year’s celebration is to raise awareness of Radio Producers and Managers and indeed the general public on the need to involve the young men and women in Radio production and broadcasting as this will go a long way towards discovering potential talents amongst them, thereby paving way for greater professionalism and career choice in the Radio industry.

To this end, The Provost of the College, Dr. Blessing Ijioma approved that the Directorate of Academic Collaboration & Linkages, AIFCE effects youth-focused activities to mark the Day by assembling some youths on the AIFCE Community and to devise their own program in collaboration with radio stations in the State. The AIFCE students will present and anchor self-devised   radio programmes and broadcast same over the radio throughout the whole day. They have planned and rehearsed issue-based discussions for 30mins to 60 minutes in a parliament format centering on “How suited youths are in modern competitive radio digitalization and broadcasting as well as sensitizing   radio station owners and executives, journalists and governments to adopt gender related policies and strategies for Radio producers and presenters. Again, Radio managers are expected to give the youths free hand to read the hourly news (minor or major news) from Radio News Room.

As an icing on the cake, the Alvan Model Secondary School students will go on excursion to the radio stations while the primary satellite arm will engage in children programmes on the day.

It will be recalled that on 24 October 24, 2014, the AIFCE through its Directorate of Academic Collaboration celebrated the United Nations Day with pomp and panoply. It is expected that this Radio Day celebration will be even more rewarding.

The Radio is key to the development of any nation and its benefits must be continually brought to the fore. Radio cannot be allowed to be swallowed by the razzmatazz of television as the threat seems to be. Both are complimentary, but the power of Radio range, its mobility and affordability are advantages that cannot be   ignored. The World Radio Day should be celebrated and the Youth has a major role to play in this regard. The AIFCE community, as ever, leads in the drive to bring worthwhile youth activities to the fore, especially UNESCO inspired programmes. It is our hope that is year’s celebration of the World Radio Day will rekindle the interest of the youth in Radio broadcasting as a practice and in audio engagement

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015

 

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We welcome all our staff and students to 2015. We hope everybody had a wonderful and happy holiday. Students arrive back on campus on 10th January and immediately it is all hands on deck to quickly conclude the second semester of the 2013/2014 session. This session has dragged into 2015 because of the industrial action last year. Immediately the pending academic year concludes with exams, the 2014/2015 session will commence.

Last year the College achieved a lot. The Federal Minister of State for Education visited the College and commissioned some projects including the New Education Block and the PHE block. The College also hosted the House Committee on Education which came to perform their oversight functions. Both the Minister and the House Committee expressed delight at the infrastructural development going on in the College.

The College also played host to an accreditation panel from the NUC which visited all the Departments and Schools in the College to accredit old and new courses. The College performed creditably here. The NCCE also visited the College for Resource Inspection which led to the approval of new programmes (Special Education, Technical Education and Adult and Non-Formal Education) to be sited in the College.

The Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma led Management last year did not relent in training and re-training staff both here in Nigeria and overseas. She has continued to make vigorous efforts to ensure that all funds and resources allocated for human capital development are fully deployed.

In 2015 the College would continue its forward march into its golden years. The College will be a centre for the JAMB Computer Based Test (CBT) having provided a laboratory that hosts 100 computer units. The School of Social Sciences building is already in progress and will be completed soon. More staff, especially the young ones, will be trained via back-to-school programmes, conferences, workshops and seminars and the demonstration centres will be upgraded with new buildings and state of the art equipment. Vocational and technical education programmes will be expanded to ensure that our students acquire practical skills alongside their education to effectively fit into the labour market of today.

Students are warned to be careful and discerning during the electioneering period. No student of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri should make himself/herself available to be used as a tout or engage in electoral malpractice and fraud.

Have a happy and successful 2015.

CITATION OF THE PROVOST

  

The Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma

The Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma

Recently President Goodluck Jonathan reappointed the Provost for a second term in recognition of her efforts to reposition the College as the best in Africa. Here are excerpts of the Provost’s background.   


Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Chima Ijioma, who is presently, the first female Provost of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, was born in Umuezeala, Old Umuahia into the family of Late Ezinna Lazarus Iheukwumere Ufegbu and Late Susanna Ufegbu. She is married to Sir C. I. Ijioma, from Ozuitem in Bende L.G.A of Abia State, a former Rector of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba and their marriage is blessed with five children.

Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Chima Ijioma had her educational background in the following institutions: Queen’s College, Lagos; Queen’s School, Enugu; the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Microbiology; Federal University of Technology, Owerri where she obtained her Doctoral degree in Food Science and Technology; Imo State University, Owerri where she gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Education; Haggai Institute, Singapore where she was awarded a Certificate in Leadership.

She was born a Roman Catholic but became a Methodist by marriage. She has held many positions in the Methodist Church. She is a Lady of the Knight of John Wesley and an Elder. She was the Secretary, Women Fellowship of Methodist Church Nigeria, Owerri Diocese for 8years; Bible Secretary of the Women Fellowship, Methodist Church Nigeria; Member of Synod, Owerri Diocese of Methodist Church Nigeria and a Lay Preacher of the Methodist Church Nigeria. A great community leader and inspiration to women, Dr. (Mrs.) B. C. Ijioma was the Secretary, Ozuitem Women Development Union Federated for many years and now the Secretary of the Obuofia Women Association.

In 2010, Dr. (Mrs.) B. C. Ijioma was appointed the first female Provost of Alvan Ikoku federal College of Education, Owerri. Since then, she has been working doggedly to return Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri to its former glory. Based on her superlative performance in office, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Chima Ijioma has endeared herself to her staff. One of her greatest achievements as Provost is in the area of human development and empowerment. Her administration has as a matter of great importance funded numerous workshops, trainings, seminars and conferences for staff, and she is bubbling with the zeal to impact positively on the lives of people. She was the first Provost in Nigeria to send a dozen student leaders on a tour of higher institutions in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Truth to tell, her performance has earned her several awards from various organizations and bodies. Some of which are: 2013 Provost of the Year by the All-Africa Students Union, Kumasi; Rotary Club of Owerri (District 9140), Distinguished Award for outstanding qualities in College administration and Human capacity building, July 2011; Award of Excellence for outstanding leadership qualities and immense contribution to students by the Student Union Government, A.I.F.C.E, Owerri; Merit Award by the Methodist Church Nigeria; Merit Award as the best Dean by the National Association of Science students, A.I.F.C.E chapter in 2007;Merit Award by the Alvan Alumni Association; Merit Award by the Association of Heads of Security of Tertiary Institutions; Award of Excellence by the Nzezurume Council of Traditional Rulers and title holders; distinguished award as a worthy ambassador of Ozuitem by the Ozuitem Women Development Union Federated. Dr. (Mrs.) Ijioma also had the honour of being awarded a Federal University Scholarship as an undergraduate student at UNN, Nsukka.

A consummate academic, Dr. (Mrs.) B.C. Ijioma has written over forty peer reviewed papers in national and international journals. She has also attended numerous conferences in and outside Nigeria presenting papers at such academic events. Before her appointment as Provost, she also served as Head of Department of Biology, Dean, School of National Sciences and Deputy Provost.

Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Chima Ijioma is affiliated to many reputed professional associations. They are: Life Member, Science Teachers Association of Nigeria; Member, Women in Colleges of Education; Member, Nigerian Academy of Education; Fellow Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology; Fellow Nigerian Environmental Society; Member, Nutritional Society of Nigeria and is registered with the Teacher’s Registration Council of Nigeria.

For a woman who has been a trailblazer in the world of academics, Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma has remained humble, relating to both the staff and students in a professional and humane manner. She has maintained an open door policy in her administration, working assiduously to enable Alvan reclaim her pride of place as the best teacher education institution in Nigeria. Today, she is seen and regarded as the Blessing of the College.