The Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike, has approved the employment of teaching and non-teaching staff at Ignatius Ajuru University of Education as reported by Myschoolneww.ng
The governor gave the directive on Saturday, May 14, at the 39th and 40th convocation ceremony of the university.
He said the employment would strengthen the capacity of the university to impact innovative knowledge, provide quality research, and deliver quality education to the students.
Represented by the deputy governor, Dr Ipallibo Harry-Banigo, the governor urged educational institutions to remain key to societal transformation and highlighted that his administration prioritises access to quality education at all levels in the state.
The governor said his administration was satisfied with the role the institution has been playing from inception in actualising the special mandate of training professional educators and administrators for the state and the country.
He commended the management, staff, and other partners of the university for the remarkable progress and its enormous contributions to national growth through manpower development.
Wike declared that the growth and development of every state or nation depend on how the youths are transformed through education, skills, and values that make them active and productive citizens.
The governor, however, condemned the award of higher degrees to people with obvious lack of intellectual capacity, as he charged the university management to reinvent the institution as a true and pragmatic centre of academic excellence in service to society.
He reminded universities to be mindful of public perceptions of the poor quality of education and graduates being turned out these days and insisted that the reason for such action should not be blamed on inadequate funding as widely claimed.
Wike advised university authorities to behold the essence and basic values of the university system and what it represents and insisted that a good university strives to deliver the best in terms of quality, competencies of its faculty, infrastructure, and curriculum that meet the needs of society.
The governor charged the acting vice-chancellor to restore public confidence in the programmes and degrees awarded by the university, and reinvent it as a true and pragmatic centre of academic excellence in the service of society.
He congratulated the graduands for successfully completing their studies and expressed hope that the knowledge, skills, and values acquired during their studies in the institution would guide them to find the paths to success.
Earlier, the acting vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Okechuku Onuchuku, said the best way he could repay the governor for the confidence he has in his ability to lead the university is to place the institution among the best in Nigeria and beyond.
He disclosed that there was a crying need for teaching and non-teaching staff in the university, and notified the governor of other needs like a standard senate building, a befitting vice-chancellor’s lodge, a standard sports complex, staff accommodation, students’ hostels, and a three thousand capacity convocation arena.
Onuchuku also declared that the university was seeking to forge new collaborations with development partners to validate its academic programmes, as he invited the organised private sector to take up development projects in the institution.
The vice-chancellor listed projects like buildings, laboratories, and other infrastructure that are in need, and explained that such projects would be named after the individuals and corporate organisations.
He applauded the state governor for investing massively in educaion, but noted that a critical national asset like education cannot be left to the government alone, as he listed some of the achievements his administration has recorded so far.
Among them is the setting up of two committees to review the postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in line with the National Universities Commission (NUC) benchmark.
He equally directed a downward review of non-statutory charges and school fees, establishment of a full-fledged faculty of Agriculture, and payment of school fees in two installment to reflect the realities of the prevailing economic situation.
Onuchuku hinted that his administration would enhance the revenue base of the university beyond the state government subventions through impact research that would be beneficial to stakeholders by harnessing the university’s areas of expertise where it has competitive local and global edges.
To meet the challenges of the 21st-century knowledge economy, the vice-chancellor revealed that the institution would capitalise on research to solve problems in society by making itself relevant to the industry and the government in line with the triple helix concept.
He congratulated parents, guardians, and the graduands for the feat achieved, and the university community and other stakeholders for their support.
A total of 3,751 graduates at the first-degree level, while 3,770 were admitted into various categories of higher degrees.