F or the management, staff and students of the Edo University, Iyamho, Edo State, it was a dream come as they rolled out the drums to celebrate the second convocation of the institution.
But, beyond the conviviality of the ceremony, the one-week activities lined up to celebrate the convocation held on virtual zoom platform mostly for members of the public, attracted the donation of a multi-million naira Molecular Biology Laboratory to the university; and award of automatic employment to the four First Class graduating students, as well as partnership with the Nigerian Air Force on Engineering Solution hub aimed at tackling security challenges in the country.
The Molecular Biology Laboratory and offer of automatic employment were donated by the Chancellor of the university, Dr. Remi Makanjuola, the Chairman of the Board of Caverton Offshore Support Group.
The tone of the one-week events, which set the academic environment aglow, was flagged off with Jumat Service and thanksgiving service to thank God for the successful completion of another academic session on Friday, October 30 and Sunday, November 1 respectively.
The fourth Founders Day lecture, expected to have held in March 23, which was rescheduled because of COVID-19 pandemic that hit the country early in the year, was delivered… virtually by the Nigerian Air force (NAF) Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar.
It the lecture, entitled: “The Nigerian Air Force, Making Giant Strides in Keeping Nigeria Safe,” Air Marshal Sadiq, who commended the institution for its brand of technological innovations and academic excellence, however, underscored the role of technology in education development, saying such roles could not be de-emphasised in every facet of life.
Thus, the Air Force boss disclosed that NAF’s Research and Development (R&D) Department was working with about 15 universities, and expressed optimism to enter into partnership with the university.
Towards this end, the Nigerian Air Force, therefore, promised to collaborate with the state-owned university on how to provide engineering solutions with a view to addressing the nation’s security challenges.
While lauding the university for its giants strides in technological innovations, Sadiq also recalled the various efforts by the Nigerian Air Force in keeping the country safe, listing some of these to include training and retraining of officers, acquisition of different aircraft, gender sensitisation and inclusiveness policy, which led to the training of seven qualified female pilots with another 14 officers currently undergoing training.
No fewer than 51 graduating students for the 2019/2020 academic session received their scrolls for the award of first degrees having been found worthy in character and learning.
Of the graduates, four obtained First Class Division; 21 graduated with Second Class Upper Division; 23 had Second Class Lower, while three graduated with Third Class. Leading the pack, the overall best graduating student, Daniel Onyedikachi Otti, was offered automatic employment by the Chancellor.
While welcoming the guests, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, however, commended the role of the Nigerian Air Force in the nation’s defence architecture and in keeping its mandate of “defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity and the war against terrorism” alive.
Similarly, Vice-Chancellor expressed gratitude to the Governor of the state and Visitor to the university, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Governing Council, university Senate, staff, parents and students of the university for sustaining the academic session through the CANVAS Learning Management System introduced by the institution in view of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges.
Aluyor also praised the university Chancellor, Dr. Makanjuola for the donation of the Molecular Biology Laboratory and offer of automatic employment to the best graduating students. “Today’s ceremony is unique.
The ceremony is being carried out with many of our invited guests joining us via zoom. We have carefully complied with COVID-19 protocols by inviting only the graduating students and their parents to be physically present,” he added.
The Vice-Chancellor, while recounting the university’s achievements in various areas in its first five years, urged the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the university as they go into the world to serve the nation in their fields of academic discipline.
Aluyor, who noted that the university since its inception four year ago had advanced in technology, added that it had also set the pace in providing qualitative education and redefined public university education in the country.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Lillian Salami, noted that the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic had created difficulties in teaching and learning in the country, but commended the university for “blazing the trail in teaching and learning, as well as for creating local content stations.”
The Minister, while congratulating the graduating students, urged them to contribute meaningfully to manpower development of the country.
On his part, the Chancellor of the institution, Dr. Makanjuola, noted that adaptation to technology was the key in the COVID-19 era, lauding the management of the university for not allowing coronavirus to leave the institution in tatters.
Meanwhile, Governor Obaseki, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Jimoh Ijegbai, lauded the giant strides the university, especially the successful completion of the 2019/2020 academic session through the deployment of the CANVAS Learning Management System for teaching and learning.
While pledging his administration’s continued support to the university, the governor commended the Chancellor of the institution for the Molecular Biology Laboratory donated to the university.