By Abuchi Onwumelu
It was a gathering of intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and members of the academia recently at Anambra State Polytechnic, (ANSPOLY), Mgbakwu, formerly known as Anambra State College of Agriculture, as the citadel of learning held its 3rd Matriculation Ceremony.
This year's matriculation held at the matriculation arena attracted lots of dignitaries, including the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, traditional rulers, community leaders, education lovers and relevant stakeholders.
Addressing the matriculants, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Nneka Mefoh exhorted them to be of good behaviour and to avoid acts capable of bringing the institution to disrepute.
Dr. Mefoh admonished the matriculating students to be wary of bad company, noting that the institution abhorred unlawful associations, and urged them to be useful to themselves, family, school and society.
Speaking on the challenges facing the Polytechnic, Dr. Mefoh appealed to the state government for more infrastructural and other learning facilities to ensure that students had the best learning experience.
She pleaded with the state government to approve the second NBTE Team verification visitation, as well as to approve the construction of administrative block in the polytechnic, and the construction of office blocks for staff members, even as she appealed for the building of more classroom blocks, staff welfare package as regards salaries, as well as allowances and emoluments, using the Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure.
'There is need for staff development programmes, waiver for staff employment in the nearest future and administration vehicles for principal officers to facilitate their huge work,' the Rector stated.
She also requested that utility vehicles be given to the various units of the polytechnic, as well as buses for the students, saying that more hostels, staff quarters and recreational facilities needed to be provided for the polytechnic.
The rector said the polytechnic was poised to meet the manpower requirements for the technological needs of the nation, assuring that upon graduation, the students would have be self-reliant and imbued with adequate entrepreneurial mindset.
She commended the state governor on the numerous facilities he had provided in the institution so far, disclosing that the governor had approved the construction of the stretch of road leading to the polytechnic from Isuaniocha Junction.
In his remarks, Obiano, who was represented by the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Theresa Obiekezie, promised to change the fortunes of the polytechnic before leaving office, while also assuring to address the welfare of staff members and students.
The governor advised the matriculating students to shun vices capable of truncating their future and work towards equipping themselves with requisite skills to be employers of labour upon graduation.
The chairman, Governing Council of the Polytechnic, Prof. Prosper Omaliko, reminded the students that it was a rare privilege for them to have secured admission into the institution, while urging them to work hard and be disciplined.
In an interview the Registrar of the Polytechnic, Dr. Samuel Uzo Nnana, appreciated the governor for the political will to upgrade the College of Agriculture to a substantive polytechnic as well as equipping the institution to meet international standards.
Dr. Nnana also thanked the governor for the Executive Bill he (Gov. Obiano) submitted to the House of Assembly which gave legal backing to the Polytechnic.
The registrar explained that the governor had opened up the Polytechnic premises with many connecting roads, noting that the roads leading to the Polytechnic from Isuaniocha had received serious attention from the governor.
He charged the matriculating students to shun unholy activities as they were no longer children and would be liable to any offence committed against the school and even to themselves.
'Concentrate on your studies. Do not allow anybody to deceive or lure you into any dastardly act. I want to remind you all that you are no longer adolescents or underaged. Once you commit any crime you go in for it,' Dr. Nnana warned.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu, Mr Chukwuanu Sunday Okagbue, advised the matriculating students to be mindful of what they engaged in, noting that their primary assignments should be to study hard, earn good grades and be useful to their parents and guardians.
Mr. Okagbue who anchored the event as the master of the ceremony, thanked Governor Obiano for what he described as the governor's good works in the state. He also appreciated the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology; Governing Council; Management, staff and students.