Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri

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Monthly Archives: May 2013

SUG: INSPIRING THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW

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The Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri since inception has been in the business of inspiring and developing young minds to go on and positively affect future generations and play prominent roles in civil society. From its early years the College has defended democratic ideals by encouraging the sustenance of a robust Student Union Government. Elections are held regularly and students have always freely chosen their leaders and representatives into the various arms of the Student Union Government. One very unique trait of the Alvan Ikoku student body is that they are politically active and on election days the College is full of students eager to exercise their franchise.

This year the Management of Dr. (Mrs.) B. C. Ijioma decided to equip our Jubilee Year SUG by sending them on a leadership training and retreat outside the College grounds. The idea was to isolate the student leaders to enable them fully internalize the many topics on morality, ethics, financial management, crisis management, code of conduct and challenges inherent in leading the student body being taught to them. At the venue, the Villa Maria Guest House (an ecclesiastical retreat centre of the Catholic Diocese of Owerri), the Dean Student Affairs, Dr. (Mrs.) R. U. Iwu said the essence of the retreat was that “For democratically elected individuals to deliver the dividends of democracy to their followers, they must have the fear of God, possess the ethics of leadership, know the limits of their functions, the role of the constitution in administration, and the need for proper financial management, accountability and record keeping amongst others.”

The retreat was declared open by the Provost of the College who urged the student leaders to endeavour to access all the information and knowledge available from the retreat as the concepts on leadership and morality will lead them beyond their SUG days and through all of life. The Provost challenged the students to leave enduring landmark achievements that will be reference points in the future. The SUG was assured that this is the only way of securing their legacy.

The College in its fifty years of existence has continually encouraged and equipped the SUG; however with the problem in contemporary Nigerian society of a dearth of credible youth leadership, the College understands that efforts must be intensified to deliver to Nigeria a crop of strong, dependable, godly leaders with a passion for service and nation building.

The 2013 SUG led by Comrade Orient Nwadike has been dubbed the Golden Jubilee executive and they have received the best training available to enable them deliver to their fellows the dividends of democracy. The die is cast, the ball is in their court, but we are rest assured that in this Golden Jubilee year the SUG will set a gold standard that will usher in a golden age in student politics and youth leadership.

 

Camera Lens

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The Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) B. C. Ijioma receiving the Hon. Min. of Info. Labaran Maku in the College during the Good Governance Tour

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One of the many Drama Presentations by the lively Theatre Arts Department.

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KUDOS: Student contributors to a book of short stories and poems receiving recognition.

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The French Govt. Charge d’Affairs to Nigeria presenting books to the French Department of the College.

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The Charge d’Affairs enjoying the moment

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College exhibition stand at an education fair in Abuja last year.

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SUG Executive taking the oath of office.

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Students test running the new Language Lab.

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Provost, Dr. (Mrs.) B. C. Ijioma and Prof Ogbuagu, Provost of Umunze during the South East Conf of COEASU held in AIFCE

Alvan Ikoku Welcomes the new Governing Council

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Prince Oyinlola, Board Chairman, flanked by Provost and Registrar

The Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri has had a storied and meteoric history, lightening up the educational firmament while successfully metamorphosing through several phases. It started out as an Advanced Teachers’ Training College owned by the Eastern Region Government. Later it came under the East Central State Government where it became a College of Education in 1973 and renamed Alvan Ikoku College of Education via a State Edict. The Imo State Government owned the College which was located right in the heart of the State capital, Owerri, and had started in the historic Old Shell Camp grounds until 2007, when the Federal Government took over the running of the College.

Since the Federal Takeover of the College, Alvan Ikoku has been experiencing a renaissance. The so called ‘Federal Might’ is no myth as the increased financial muscle is now very evident in infrastructure, staff welfare and emoluments. The improved fiscal and manpower resources now available in the College has positively rubbed off on the academic sphere with teaching and learning being conducted in an environment that is striving towards attaining global best practices.

The Federal Government takeover of Alvan Ikoku is a testament to the role of the College in fostering educational development in Nigeria. Initially established to produce teachers for the intermediate level (Primary and Junior Secondary), the College also produced teachers with Bachelors degree (in affiliation with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka).  Its focus on “training the trainers” thus gave Alvan the unique place of affecting, directly or indirectly, nearly everybody who passed through a school in the South-East these past fifty years. So when the Federal Government, in 2007, acquired the College from the Imo State Government, education watchers and stake-holders agreed it was a step in the right direction.

Under the Federal Government tutelage the College has grown in leaps and bounds. Accorded the title of ‘primus interpares’ in the 1960s, the College has regained its past glory and is fast adding more feathers to its cap. New programmes have commenced alongside new buildings and personnel. The College now has a new School of General Studies, runs a Professional Diploma in Education, set-up a Department of Theatre Arts and just recently established a Department of Special Education with the mandate to become a centre of excellence for special education studies in the near future. Previously a back-up choice in University Matriculation Examinations, the College is now the defacto first choice of many candidates as students ‘rush’ to avail themselves the opportunity of attending a Federal Government run – first generation – institution with a rich history and culture of excellence dating half a century.

The progress evident in the College since the Federal takeover is also down to the Presidency making wise choices with the leadership of the College. The first Governing Board – in the Federal dispensation –  made strident and marked impact in the College. Today, we welcome a new Governing Board led by the Chairman, Prince Ajibola Oyinlola (a scion of the famous Oyinlola royal family) that will steer the ship of the College, starting from this Jubilee year, and chart the course as we sail into a golden era for Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.

Its 50 years this May!

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Labaran Maku inspecting a project during the Good Governance Tour

The Month of May is a very important month in the calendar of Alvan Ikoku Federal college of Education, Owerri. It was in May, 1963 that our College was founded, originally as the Advanced Teachers’ Training College (ATTC), Owerri. The establishment of the ATTC dramatically changed the educational landscape of Eastern Nigeria and nay Nigeria in general. The production of teachers of intermediate manpower level – which was the initial purview of the ATTC – was a development booster as it generated well trained and qualified teachers to effectively man the increasing educational needs of the young country.

The years immediately after independence were a pivotal period in the development of our nation. In the educational sector, the Ashby Commission Report (set up by the British Colonial government) helped to map out the educational road map of the young and fledgling country. The recommendations of the report, submitted in September 1960, just before independence, led to the establishment of some of the first generation universities and the Advanced Teachers’ Training Colleges.

Sir Eric Ashby, in his report, noted the dearth of trained teachers in the secondary schools inspite of the obvious increase in demand for their services. He then recommended the opening of universities; institution of undergraduate degree in Education (B.A. (Ed.); B.Sc. (Ed.); B.Ed) and the training of more teachers for Nigeria’s secondary schools. The Ashby report also recommended that the cost of training teachers should be borne by the Regions. To train more teachers several teachers’ training colleges where established including the ATTC (now Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education), Owerri by the Eastern Region Government and Adeyemi College of Education by the Western Region.

The Ashby report was hinged on the fact that economic development would not be possible without universal basic education. And the best way to actualize this development was to strengthen the manpower at the intermediate level – the elementary and lower forms of secondary schools. Alvan Ikoku has carried the torch expertly for fifty years now.

So this May, the College happily marks the moment in history when an important educational pillar was instituted. Kudos must be given to all the heroes that played a role in the advent of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education. The defunct Eastern Nigeria Government,  the UNESCO with its technical assistance and the Ashby Commission which conducted a remarkable study of the educational climate prior to independence and brought forward recommendations whose application led to the birth of giants like Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. And the many others too numerous to mention.