From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
It was a historic moment at Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, recently, when Grundtvig Polytechnic, which is part of an international network of Grundtvig-inspired schools across the world, held its first matriculation.
The polytechnic was licensed by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to operate as a private institution.
The event was graced by dignitaries such as the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, who represented Governor Willie Obiano; rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Dr. Francisca Nwafulugo; managing director, Delta State University Consultancy Service, Dr. Rowell Ugbogu; coordinator of Anambra State branch of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Ms Karen Gar; rector of the new polytechnic, Dr. A. Asolibe; and the chairman of the polytechnic, Dr. Kachi Ozumba; the Grundtvig Polytechnic governing council, friends and associates.
The over 60 matriculating students wore their gowns on the campus to take photographs for record purposes, to the admiration of parents and well-wishers.
In his address, Governor Obiano, represented by Dr. Okeke, said he was much impressed with the serenity of the environment and magnificent structures on the campus.
“The chairman deserves commendations. I was a lecturer before I became a deputy governor. You should first of all seek to be educated. That is what I always tell students. Anything you become later in life, whether a trader or whatever, must be guided by the good foundation you have laid for yourself as someone who is educated.
“You are here to study to improve on who you are. That is the essence. I am here as a deputy governor because I have something upstairs. One of you can be deputy governor, governor, president or something else tomorrow and that comes through hard work. You can study and play but give priority to your studies.
“During my university days, I moved with people who were serious with their studies, and that is what you should do. To the staff, do not take money from the students, because you are paid to take care of them and you should bring them up with discipline. That is your responsibility,” he said.
Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Dr. Nwafulugo, said polytechnics holds the key for economic emancipation of Nigeria based on the kind of education and skills they offer.
According to her, polytechnics are meant to produce the manpower needs of the nation and graduates that can use their hands and brains to come up with the things needed to turn the economy around.
“We are capable of bringing the synergy between theory and practical’s. We bridge the gap between theories and practical’s. I think if there is anything Nigeria needs as of now; it is polytechnic graduates, people who have solution to the problems of society in terms of economic emancipation. Our graduates need to be empowered, they need to be funded, “she said.
Nwafulugo enjoined the students to face their studies and shun cultism or anything that could lead them to social vices and moral decadence. She also warned them against indecent dressing.
The rector tasked the students to strive to make their parents and guardians proud in pursuit of their academic programme.
“We are meant to produce competent graduates worthy in learning and character with practical skills to contribute their quotas to nation building, advancement of themselves, their individual communities and the society at large. We are organic in our growth and demand driven, “Ozumba said.
The rector, Dr. Asolibe, said the polytechnic provides technical education to teaming youth population in the fields of management studies; applied sciences; and engineering technology affiliated to Delta State University, Abraka.
One of the matriculants, Melody Udegbegbunam in Business Administration said he is fulfilled to be a student of the polytechnic and promised to live up to expectations.