By Sam Dada Ayokhai
CONVOCATION ceremony is globally seen as a ritual associated with every citadel of learning. The difference of the occasion usually lies with who presides and the number of graduands who are able to break new ground in their grades. Recently, the Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State held her 24th convocation ceremony for the award of Diplomas, Certificates and Prizes to the 2015/2016 graduands.
The convocation ceremony was unique because it was the first official outing of the acting rector of the institution, Dr. Sanusi Momodu Jimah, since his appointment as the acting rector of the school in March, 2017. It was also the first official outing of the chairman of the re-constituted Governing Council, Chief Micheal Oloyo and his members.
The convocation ceremony was preceded by a convocation lecture delivered by the former speaker and governor of Rivers State, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, who is presently the Minister for Transport. He spoke on restructuring of the polity. The minister who was represented by Professor Julius Azimokha, a professor of Political Science from the Ambrose Alli University, spoke on restructuring and the way forward for the country.
Speaking during the convocation ceremony held at the school pavilion, the acting Rector, Dr. Sanusi Momodu Jimah said that the polytechnic which had witnessed students’ unrest and two industrial crises before his assumption of office has embraced peace and stable academic calendar. To ensure the growth of Auchi Polytechnic among her peers, the school management has itemized four benchmarks as a parameter. These are expansion of infrastructure, a robust staff development policy, deployment and usage of information technology and the security of lives and property.
In the area of infrastructural development, Dr. Jimah gave his administration a pass mark and also promised continuity in the on-going projects started by his predecessor. Among these projects, he pointed at the furnishing of a block of six classrooms in the school of Art and Industrial Design, completion of the construction of phase II of the new administrative building among others.
On staff development, the acting rector, assured the staff of continuous training. According to the rector, a total 64 of the 170 staff on the polytechnic sponsorship have completed their master and doctorate programmes. He disclosed that additional teaching staff will also embark on a scholarship for higher degrees, both in Nigeria and overseas.
Earlier in his address, the chairman of the Governing Council, Chief Michael Oloyo, said that the four months old constituted governing council has assured the stakeholders that the council will address decisively all issues confronting the institution’s reputation. According to Chief Oloyo, to achieve this objective, the council has approved the promotion, confirmation of appointments of both teaching and non – teaching staff. He added that it has also approved the application for part-time studies for staff.
He appealed to the Federal Government to assist the institution in replacing the old and outdated facilities in the school. Meanwhile, a total of 18,000 graduands received awards of Post Higher National Diploma, Higher National Diploma and National Diploma. The highlight of the ceremony was the cutting of convocation cake by the rector and assisted by prize winning graduands.
Besides, honorary fellowship award was conferred on the Honourable Minister for Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and Honourable Minister for State for Petroleum, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu.
Ayokhai is a media consultant.