By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
It is no longer business as usual for students who tend to shy away from Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills. This is so because the Provost of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Dr Tessy Okoli, has declared ICT training as a compulsory programme for all the students of the College.
The Provost, announced this in her address for the 32nd/10th Joint Matriculation Ceremony of the institution for students of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), Degree and Professional Diploma in Education (PDE), held at the Convocation Arena, Main Campus of the College, on August 20.
Dr Tessy Okoli, in her address, explained that the compulsory ICT training was paramount in order to give the students a competitive edge on their graduation. The provost noted that students of the College needed to be equipped with the necessary digital computer skills to become ICT compliant and be relevant in the world driven by ‘stunning innovations in Information and Communication Technology’.
She stated that FCE (T), Umunze had continued to lay strong emphasis on entrepreneurship, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), technical and vocational skills. According to her, the above key areas would equip the students with employable skills and place them on vantage positions upon their graduation from the College.
The Provost said the College introduced an ICT Academy to train students on various computer applications and programmes and disclosed an ongoing effort to introduce digital classrooms in the College for improved teaching and learning.
‘Our College has made the acquisition of ICT skills compulsory for all students. The two giant TETFund-built ICT buildings that were recently commissioned, as well as the hundreds of computers provided for effective teaching and learning, were part of the provisions to make the ICT training effective,’ she said.
She recalled that the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) had at a recent induction for teachers in the College, rated FCE (T) Umunze high on ICT compliance. The provost advised the new students to leverage the high academic rating of the College and strive towards excellence.
Reiterating that the College did not tolerate bribe-for-marks, popularly called ‘sorting’ by students, Dr Okoli urged the students to desist from cultism, examination malpractice and other indecent acts.
‘We do not condone harassment or exploitation of students. We will continue to protect our reputation as an institution of choice, a fertile ground for academic honesty and a school for future champions,’ the provost stated.
Dr Okoli, who is the first internal provost of the federal institution, noted that the College made 75 percent attendance to lectures compulsory for all students to prevent truancy and encourage regular attendance to classes. She encouraged all students to form study groups and join positive associations, saying that such would enhance healthy academic competition and reduce social vices among young people.
The Provost also encouraged the new students to live in College hostels, rather than private lodges. According to her, College hostels guaranteed closer supervision and security for young students, who, she said, might be leaving their homes for the first time.
Speaking on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (the affiliate institution of the College), Prof Charles Esimone, congratulated the new students on their successful matriculation.
Prof Esimone, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Prof Frederick Odibo, noted that the matriculation ceremony marked the formal admittance of the new students into the academic programme of the university while domiciled in FCE (T) Umunze.
He explained that those admitted under the affiliation status enjoyed the rare privilege of studying for a degree of the university in academic programmes domiciled in the Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze. This was even as he maintained that the curricula and other requirements of the students must meet the high academic standards of the university.
The Vice Chancellor assured that most of the academic programmes of the university, which included those of the affiliated institution, were accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Also speaking, the Chairman of the 7th Governing Council of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Hon Sekav Iyortyom, advised the students to remain focused on their studies and desist from cultism and negative peer influence, warning that it could truncate their mission in the College. He stated that the Council would continue to work in harmony with the College Management to enhance quality service delivery in the institution.
The matriculation ceremony was also attended by members of the Governing Council, among whom were Alhaji Ibrahim Danmaliki; Hon Ibara Otobo; Owoseni Ayodeji Oluwaseun; the representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Lilian Haruna; and the representative of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Mr Godwin Oahimire.
Others included the Secretary of the Council, Mrs Bessie Nkah, who is also the Registrar of the College; the representative of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Dr Victor Okonkwo; the representatives of the College Academic Board, Dr Christopher Ugwuogo; and Dr Gertrude Ifeyinwa Udegbe; as well as the representative of the Alumni Association, Mrs Laeticia Ugwu.