By Gabriel Dike
The management of the cradle of tertiary education in Nigeria, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) rolled out the drums to celebrate two major events, 70th anniversary and 31st convocation ceremony.
Activities for the two events took off with special Jumat service on Friday, October 12, a commendation service at the college Chapel on Sunday, October 15, anniversary workshop by the Alumni on Tuesday, October 17 at the Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
There was also a convocation/anniversary lecture on ‘’Repositioning Science and Technological Education in Nigeria for Global Relevance’’ on Wednesday, October 18.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, set the ball rolling. He said the historical journey of YABATECH serves as reference point for the history of educational development of Nigeria.
He also said: “The celebration of the institution’s 70th anniversary is significant and brings about deep introspection on the role and impact of education on the nation’s developmental journey.”
Adamu, represented by Director of Tertiary Education, Mr. Samuel Ojo, used the occasion to congratulate the Rector, Dr. Margaret Ladipo, on the strides recorded in the past eight years of the college under her headship. He noted that YABATECH has improved in quality and number of academic programmes as well as infrastructure development.
Attending his first convocation ceremony, an elated YABATECH Governing Council chairman, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, said the gathering of notable personalities at the convocation to commemorate the 70th anniversary is an evidence of the recognition of the position the college occupies in Nigeria’s higher education.
Fagbemi disclosed that after the inauguration of the council in May, it hit the ground running, met with the management, academic board and the staff unions and ‘’at these meetings, the priorities and expectations of the council were discussed. Of particular importance to council is the sustenance of high academic standards, prevalence of peace and harmony on campus, staff and students welfare and preservation of the good name of the Institution.”
According to him, the council is particular about stability of the academic calendar, the quality and relevance of programmes, ‘’this is an obligation that we owe our students.
“We also appreciate that we all have a common cause, which is the overriding best interest of the institution. Consequently, council will continue to advocate dialogue, rather than confrontation, as well as the pursuit of peace, harmony, stability and progress, over and above other considerations. We will ensure that all legitimate obligations to staff and students are fulfilled. The staff unions are therefore urged to work together in harmony in the interest of the college, and eschew sentiments which breed discord, and erode the values that hold us together as an institution.”
He tasked management and the academic board to raise the bar of administration and scholarship in the college through academic activities such as accreditation, research, exhibitions, contributions to knowledge through inaugural lectures and technological innovations. Fagbemi argued that deliberations and decisions of the academic board must be vibrant and qualitative, while issues such as examination malpractices and all forms of academic malfeasance must be guarded against at all times and those pending should be disposed off expeditiously.
‘’Over the past five months, council has been a strategic partner with management, giving guidance and direction to promote the standard of teaching and learning, improve the quality of staff and students’ welfare, enhance academic and infrastructural development, articulate the internally generated revenue drive of the college, and indeed ensure the prevalence of orderliness, and peace on campus’’, he explained.
The council chairman revealed that while it is evident that YABATECH has witnessed tremendous growth and expansion in recent times, noting that it is not yet uhuru as the college still have a long way to go in delivering an institution of world reckoning that can stand toe-to-toe with its global peers.
Fagbemi noted: ‘’As a TVET Institution which places emphasis on ICT and entrepreneurial studies, YABATECH is well positioned to contribute to the economic and technological development of the country. I give kudos to the management and staff of the college for their efforts in moving the college forward. What we are witnessing today is the result of their hard work. I urge you all not to rest.”
Outgoing Rector, Dr. Ladipo, said the 70th anniversary and convocation event marked another milestone in that historical journey, in fulfillment of the its mandate and in keeping with the vision of the college founding fathers.
Ladipo explained that 9,021 students of the 2015/2016 academic session full-time and part-time would graduate for both Higher and National Diploma and 64 students obtained distinction, 716 Upper Credit, 1,145 Lower Credit and 283 made Pass grade.
She said for ND full-time, 102 students graduated with Distinction, 985 made Upper Credit, 1, 002 graduated with Lower Credit and 260 obtained Pass grades.
Ladipo, who would leave office on December 9, listed numerous achievements recorded by her administration to include new academic programmes, accreditation of 31 programmes by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), three new awaited resource inspection, support staff development resulting in 80 obtaining PhD, 95 staff undergoing PhD programmes, computerization of records, Radio YABATECH commenced operation, installation of security cameras, giant strides in sports and infrastructure development.
The best graduating HND fulltime student was Shitta Abdulwaheed Abiodun of the Department of Banking and Finance, who also emerged as best graduate in School of Management and Business Studies and for the ND, the best student was Nnamdi Nwanne of Marine Engineering. She got the award for the School of Engineering and best graduating student award instituted by chairman, YABATECH governing council, Prince Fagbemi.