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Thrills, frills at Edo University convocation as best graduand gets automatic employment

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Cutting of tape for Molecular Biology Laboratory

Recently, Edo University, Iyamho held members of the public spellbound with its brand of technological innovations and academic excellence at its second convocation ceremony. At the event, Air force promised to partner the institution in engineering solution to tackle security challenge, four Students bagged first class while Caverton Boss and Chancellor of the university, Remi Makanjuola donated multi million Naira Molecular Biology Laboratory and gave automatic employment to the best graduating students, OMOWUNMI OLANIYI writes.

It was one week of glitz and glamour. It was one week of convocation like no other at the Edo University, Iyamho. It was week of academic buzz and excitement at the relatively new school, which, in less than four years, has continued to be a trailblazer among the universities in Nigeria.

Since its inception four year ago, it has grown in technological advancement, setting the pace in providing qualitative education to teeming young Nigerians that jostle for its admission yearly. No doubt, Edo University, Iyamho, has truly redefined the look of public education in Nigeria.

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After the Friday Jumat Service and Sunday Service to thank God for the successful completion of another academic year on October 30 and Sunday, November 1, respectively, the Founders Day lecture, which usually held on March 23, but had to be rescheduled this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, eventually took place on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.

Held virtual, the lecture attracted high networth participants. In his paper titled, The Nigerian Air Force, Making Giant Strides in Keeping Nigeria Safe, the guest lecturer and Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air force (NAF), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, commended the institution for its technological innovations and academic excellence.

Though the role of technology cannot be over emphasised in every facet of life, the Air Force boss stated that NAF’s Research and Development Department (R&D) was working with about 15 universities and hopes to discuss the partnership with Edo University Iyamho. The Nigerian Air Force boss promised to enter into partnership with the university in providing engineering solutions to Nigeria’s security challenges.

While commending the school for its giant strides in technological innovations, he took his listeners through the efforts being made by the Nigeria Air Force in keeping Nigeria safe. He listed some of them to include: Training and retraining of staff, acquisition of different aircrafts, gender sensitisation and inclusiveness policy which led to the training of seven qualified female pilots while 14 are undergoing training.

In his address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, commended the role of the Air Force in the nation’s defence architecture and in keeping with its mandate with what he described as the ‘defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity and the war against terrorism.’

He equally thanked the Executive Governor of Edo State and the Visitor to the University, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the University Council, Senate, staff, parents and students of the university for the continuation of the academic session through the CANVAS Learning Management System despite COVID-19.

Aluyor also expressed appreciation of the support of the University’s Chancellor, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola, who donated a Molecular Biology Laboratory to the institution.

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With the laboratory equipment, the following tests can be done — Hepatitis C virus, Hepatitis B virus, HIV virus, COVID-19 virus, Lassa Fever virus, Human papiloma vírus and Paternity test.

Also speaking, chairman of the occasion, Executive Secretary, TETFUND, Prof. Sulaiman Bogoro, expressed delight in the university’s innovative ideas and its architectural masterpiece.

He commended the Chief of Air Staff for using technologies to boost defence infrastructure for his Research and Development (R&D) initiatives in the security sector.

The Vice Chancellor of Adamawa State University, Mubi, Prof. Kaletapwa Farauta also commended the university and NAF for the founder’s day lecture with particular emphasis on the NAF’s gender sensitivity and inclusiveness policy.

The Vice Chancellor of Skyline University (SUN), Prof. Sunhadkar Kota, expressed his happiness to identify with the university and NAF.

The representative of the Director General of National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Mr. Gabriel Tyoyer, noted that the NYSC has been supporting NAF and schools. While encouraging the university to continue to advance in technology, he appealed to the school’s management to take in corps members with first degrees to encourage them build academic careers.

In his good will message, former Pro-Chancellor, Edo University Iyamho, Prof. Emeritus T.O.K Audu described the lecture as enlightening, adding that the public needs to know what our security agencies are doing.

Activities continued on Friday, November 6 with a lecture delivered by Professor Adam Zahler of the Worcester State University, Worcester Massachusetts, USA. It was titled, The Impact of COVID-19 On Tertiary Education: A View From The West And Possible Implications For African Universities. Delivered via zoom, Zahler adopted a conversational style in his presentation riding on the mantra “expect nothing, anticipate nothing.”

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The lamented that COVID-19 has taken away businesses and has raised safety concerns on students’ return to campuses, adding, “state revenues are deeply affected,” thus, it “will be foolish to ignore the impact.”

While noting that COVID-19 has made scholars to see things in a new way, he advised Nigerian educational managers to be creative and technologically inclined in handling the post covid-19 era.

The guest lecturer who refused to give specific prescriptions to African universities on how to handle issues in this era of new normal, Zahler stressed, “the environment is different, state revenues are down, the economy remains uncertain and the political systems are not the same.”

The institution’s chancellor, Makanjuola, noted that adaptation was the key word in the era, stressing, COVID-19 has not leave the school in tatters.

Corroborating Zahaler’s treatise, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Lillian Salami, said the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has created difficulties in teaching and learning in the country. Adamu, however, commended the university for what he described as “blazing the trail in teaching and learning and creating local content stations.”

The minister congratulated the graduands and urged them to be good ambassadors of the university and contribute to the great manpower development of the country. He also commended the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aluyor and his team for making Nigeria proud and a job well done.

Other goodwill messages were from university friends like Jean Borgatti, who commended the school on its unique technology for education and for working at difficult times, The convocation ceremony continued via zoom on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at the Aliko Dangote Auditorium where 51 students were awarded degrees having qualified character and in learning. Four graduands bagged first class honours. A total number of 21 graduands were conferred with 2nd class upper division, 23 had second class lower while three had third class. The overall best graduand, Daniel Onyedikachi Otti, got automatic employment from the Chancellor, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola, Chairman of the Board of Caverton Offshore Support Group.

Speaking at the occasion, representative of Edo Governor, Jimoh Ijegbai, disclosed that he was proud of the giant strides the University is making, especially in its successful conclusion of the 2019/2020 academic year, when the CANVAS Learning Management System was deployed in teaching and learning.

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While pledging his continued support to the university, he commended the chancellor of the institution, Makanjuola for his donation to the university. He congratulated the graduands and applauded the university management for keeping the mandate of the state government in preparing future leaders.

In his speech, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aluyor, congratulated the Executive Governor and Visitor to the University for his Success at the polls.

“The university records another miles stone with the graduation of her second set of students for the 2019/2020 academic session at the wake of covid-19 pandemic. Today’s ceremony is unique. The ceremony is being carried out with many of our invitees joining us via zoom. We have carefully complied with covid-19 protocols in only inviting the graduands and their parents to be physically present here today.”

The Vice Chancellor gave a score card of the achievements of the University for the first five years in different areas and urged the graduands to be “good ambassadors of the university as you go into the labour market to serve the nation in the field of your academic discipline.’’

In his brief remarks, the best graduating student, Mr. Daniel Oyendikachi Otti, of Computer Science Department, who spoke on behalf of other graduands, expressed appreciation to the university management, lecturers and parents during their sojourn in Iyamho.

While urging his colleagues to be guided by two questions: What matters to you most? Can you build what can last? he expressed optimism that their training at the university is enough platforms for them to excel. He said they would be able to make it anywhere they find themselves.

Highlights of the events were presentation of awards to the Chairman of the occasion, Mallam Adamu Adamu, the guest lecturer, Professor Adams Zahler and the special guest of honour, Professor Yakubu Ochefu.

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