The emergence of Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing C. Ijioma as the first female Provost of the College in June 2010 was greeted with jubilation and high expectations. The College community enthusiastically welcomed the President’s appointment of a thoroughbred academic – one with a humble mien and emotional intelligence. Thus expectations where naturally high that she perform.
And perform she did. The Provost has in the last four years totally transformed the outlook of the College both in infrastructure and human resources. Physical development, staff and student welfare and academic advancement have been the hallmarks of her management. The Good Governance Tour led by Labaran Maku praised the developments, some of which have been showcased at the Town Hall Meetings organised by the Federal Ministry of Education.
About five hundred staff have attended one form of training or the other, with scores traveling overseas to undergo specialist, international, human capacity development courses. Dozens have been sponsored back to school to secure higher degrees and staff morale is at an all-time high. Students have also travelled to far-flung places like Brazil and Dubai as the Provost is a firm believer in cross-fertilization of ideas and mastering of global best practices.
Like one on a mission, the Provost had the unique honour of presiding over the golden jubilee celebrations, when the College, established in 1963, marked 50 years of existence. Thus Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma will forever be remembered as the golden Provost. The celebrations were successful and unprecedented and reminded the world the enviable position Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri occupies in the annals of education in Nigeria. The Provost writing during the celebrations enunciated aptly:
Our College is experiencing a renaissance today and we must rightly seize the moment and the opportunities to lay a solid foundation for the future. Our human resources must be trained and empowered too, not only to take over from the old generation, but meet the challenges immanent in education in a fast moving, fast changing world, driven by information communication technologies. As a teacher training institution, the future of the next generation and indeed the country is squarely on our shoulders. We understand this and will not relent in meeting the challenge of training the trainers.
And this challenge can only be met by steadfastly improving the infrastructure, engendering a culture of excellence, motivating personnel, pushing our students to push themselves and impacting our immediate environment. This is what keeps me awake at night as I contemplate on ways to reposition this College.
This is her testament. And it is our duty to support her.
The College blog congratulates the Provost on her re-appointment for a second term.