Community seeks varsity status for college
Members of the Governing Council of the Federal College of Education, Technical (FCET) in Umunze, Anambra State, have held their inaugural meeting. They toured the insitution after the meeting. EMEKA ONWUDINJO reports.
LAST week’s Governing Council meeting of Federal College of Education, Technical, (FCET) in Umunze, Anambra State, was spectacular. It was the inaugural.
Apart from focusing on the state of facilities in the institution, they also, thereafter, toured the campus.
But what they did not discuss – the institution’s upgrade into a university- came up during a visit to the monarch of Umunze, Igwe Promise Ezeh, who urged them to support the call for the elevation of the college to become the first University of Education in the Southeast.
Igwe Ezeh said: “I can tell you that every member of the town is interested in the progress of the school, and the management has maintained cordial relationship with members of the host community. We have seen the college becoming one of best in the country in terms of academic performance and teachers’training. This is why we want the college to be upgraded to a university.”
The traditional ruler pleaded with the council to consider appointing a qualified indigene of the host community to succeed the college provost, Prof Josephat Ogbuagu, noting that nobody from the area been a provost of the college since its inception in 1989.
Responding, the Council Chairman Mr Ibrahim Radda, assured the traditional ruler that the selection of the next provost would follow due process, pointing out that Ogbuagu’s successor should be ready to work with the council to address olege’s challenges.
Earlier, he said the tour was prompted by members’ desire to ascertain the state of the college’s infrastructure, promising that the council would consolidate on the gains recorded by the college management led by Prof Josephat Ogbuagu.
After the tour, Raddah said council members were thrilled by the management’s achievements, claiming that the facilities were better than those of other Federal Government colleges. He praised the provost for his “giant stride”.
A member of the council, Hon. Uche Anakor, said there had been improvement in the institution in the last three years. He said most of the council members did not oppose the proposal for the college’s elevation to a university when it was raised during their meeting. He praised the college’s degree programme with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka.
He said: “With the state of the college facilities, the council will make case for its upgrade to a university because it has the personnel and good location. And since the college has started to run degree programmes in affiliation with UNIZIK, there will be no hindrance to its quest to be upgraded to a university.
“We will approach the federal government and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for funding and build more structures. If the college must be upgraded to a university, there is need for more classrooms, auditoriums and other necessary facilities to be in place.
“We are going to throw our weight behind that proposal and see what we can do to assist the school by looking out for necessary funding of these projects. To upgrade from a college to a university requires a lot of processes.”
Anakor lauded the cordial relationship between the college and the host community. He praised Ogbaugu for providing leadership, which he said, transformed the college to a centre of excellence.
He said: “I think the provost has done so well. If it is possible to give him a third term, I am sure most of the council members would strongly support it. Under him, the students’ population grew and he embarked on projects that improved the rating of the institution.”
Other members of the council on the tour included Mrs Helen Abdu of Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Paul Onochie, Mr Edmond Nkalu, Dr Jane Madichie, Dr Christopher Ugwuogo, and Secretary to the Council, Mr Augustine Udensi.