.. Receives AIFCE diamond award
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has promised to offer automatic employment to graduates of any of the tertiary institutions in the State who bag a first class honours degree or in the alternative, the opportunity to pursue a post graduate programme in any of the higher institutions of their choice in the country.
He made the promise on Thursday at the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri where he received the meritorious Diamond Award from the institution as part of activities to marks her Diamond Jubilee Celebration (1963-2023).
Apart from the largess for the graduating students, the Governor told the College, now a Federal University of Education, that he will do everything within his powers to render all necessary support to the school, particularly in the areas of training and retraining for high quality manpower.
Furthermore, Governor Uzodimma assured the gathering that he will do the needful required for the upgrade of the College to a University, assuring the audience that “henceforth all first class graduates from the tertiary institutions in the Imo State will be offered automatic employment.”
The Governor expressed happiness that it was in his time as Governor of Imo State that Alvan Ikoku is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, noting “I am not surprised because the College has made some indelible footprints on the sounds of time to get to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.”
He expressed gratitude for being found worthy for recommendation for the award and recalled that Ndigbo have a lot of value for education because ,”they see education as an empowerment that liberates everyone from the shackles of poverty, ignorance, underdevelopment and diseases, and economic downturn hence the push by every family to ensure their children get quality education.”
Governor Uzodimma said that every reasonable person in position of authority in Imo State must prioritise education and invest in it.
“This is why as the Governor of Imo State I have been able to establish the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, in addition to the recovery of K. O. Mbadiwe University Ogboko, making Imo State one of the States that is funding three Universities, a Polytechnic and a College of Education which is not a mean task.”
However, he said he has no regret because “it is intangible and invaluable investment for the future of our children.”
“The premium on Tertiary Institution is comparable to the zeal in all other investments both in the primary and secondary education,” he added.
Furthermore, Governor Uzodimma informed the audience that the 3R administration has just commenced the establishment and building of one primary school in each of the 305 Wards and has also given approval for the renovation and the equipment of a secondary school in each of the 27 Local Government Areas in the State.
“The Government is planning to construct standard Laboratories/Libraries in all Imo Secondary Schools to enhance teaching and learning and guarantee quality education to our children,” the Governor said and enjoined the Communities to ensure they protect the facilities when they are completed.
The Governor said that plans have been completed to revive the State’s Scholarship Board to enable it resume its statutory functions of assisting indigents and brilliant students in the State to access quality education.
He told the College that as an “Education Friendly Governor” he is “poised to do more for the State,” and commended the Provost for working hard to maintain the standard of the institution.
Governor Uzodimma said the importance his government attaches to the prompt payment of teachers salaries from primary to tertiary institutions, has helped to guarantee and ensure conducive working environment for teaching and learning at all levels of education in the State.
He then congratulated the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education on her 60th anniversary celebration and wished the management, staff and students well.
In her address, the Institution’s Provost, Dr. Stella Ngozi Lemechi, acknowledged Alvan Ikoku College’s six decades of providing quality education. She emphasised the institution’s achievements in overcoming challenges and striving for excellence.
Dr. Lemchi highlighted that Alvan Ikoku College has produced accomplished scholars in the field of education, citing the institution’s first student as an example. She described the jubilee as a testament to the vital role education plays in the nation.
The Provost also noted the significant transformations that Alvan Ikoku College has undergone in recent years to include elevated service delivery, rejuvenation of the spirit of research and development within their academic community, the improvement on the morale of staff and students, engagement in the College community and their host communities and restoration of the confidence of all those connected with the College. She described the milestone as “a collective achievement made possible by the synergy between her administration and the Government of Imo State.”
She commended Governor Uzodimma’s notable interest in the institution, which she said led to his deserving conferment of the Diamond Award.
Furthermore, Dr. Lemchi expressed her appreciation to the Governor for the recovery of lands and property belonging to Alvan, and used the opportunity to commend him for choosing a lecturer from the institution as his running mate for the 2023 governorship election scheduled for November 12, 2023.
She also emphasised the importance of students focusing squarely on their academics and striving for excellence while studying at the institution.
In his goodwill message, the Executive Secretary National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prof. Paulinus Chijoke Okwelle appreciated the Governor for all that he is doing for the College and appealed to him to help in finalizing what is remaining in the upgrade of the College to a Federal University of Education.
Highlights of the ceremony were the endorsement of the Governor for a second term by the management, staff and students of the institution through remarks made by their representatives at the event.
Other highlights included the reading of the Governor’s Citation before he was conferred with the Diamond Jubilee Award, the cutting of the Jubilee Cake, an award of recognition conferred on the former Provost of the School, Prof. Blessing China Ijioma, music renditions from the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri choir, among others.
The event attracted dignitaries from all walks of life in Imo State and offered the students the opportunity to bond with the Governor, the first to visit the institution in 30 years.