..Holds Annual Town Hall Meeting
By Edidiong Obot
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 has been slated as the date for the 2019/2020 matriculation ceremony of Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit, Nsit Ibom LGA.
This was stated by the chairman planning Committee of the 2020 event, Dr. Esther Andrew, deputy Provost Academic during the institution’s town hall meeting weekend. She explained that the date earlier fixed was postponed due to shift in the school calendar on resumption of academic activities.
“The matriculation which we were supposed to have before the lockdown was shifted because a lot of students could not pay up their fees before 30th of last month. The students union government sent in their request that the students appealed it should be extended and they should be given time to pay up their fees.
“To the glory of God, with good number that has come up to pay, the date for the matriculation has been fixed for next week on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. The committee is working assiduously for the successful exercise.
“As parents we know what it means for a student not to take exams due to inability to pay fees, students should endeavour to pay up their fees for a smooth first semester examination.”
Earlier, the Provost of the college, Dr. Daniel George Udo, thanked the management team and staff for turning up for the meeting en masse.
“We called you and you gave us your audience. I thank you for all your efforts in sports, education, commitment, sense of duty which has brought this college where it is today. And I know you will not relent in your efforts to move this college together forward.”
Beginning with payment of staff salaries as matter of urgency, he furthered, “Permit me to commence this meeting with a matter of urgent importance which is the salaries. There has never been any month that voucher for salaries spent 24hours on my table. We do not treat matters of staff with levity in this administration”, noting that the essence of the meeting was for interaction.
“I invited you this morning because there is a need for us to interact. First, I appreciate your effort so far. You accept those who continue to defend you when you are not wealthy. I am aware some staff use their money to buy pen and papers to prepare students’ results, I know there is no way you sow positively that God does not have a way to bless you positively.
I thank those who have done all these acts of sacrifices, they will not go unnoticed, both the ones we know and the ones we do not know.
“I am here because you are there, meaning I would not have had anything doing here if you were not there at the departments, units and school at large where you work and we have results. So there is a need to tell you thank you and also to encourage you that your acts of sacrifices will never go unrewarded. Things are already improving and will continue to improve.”
He acknowledged the efforts of staff and the fact that some departments would have done better but did not have the machinery, “I’m speaking in respect to examination purposes, that was the basis we asked TETFUND to assist us and they did by giving us 35 pieces of laptops which we have issued out to the various heads of departments to use and compute results. There are so many of them, things we need to work with that we do not have.
“But please we do not have to allow the job to lie low simply because of one excuse or the other. You can reach out to a neighbouring department, unit or school to assist which is possible and achievable.”
The college provost urged the examination officers to be conversant with operation of the laptops so as not to be found wanting when need arises.
“I do not foresee a situation an examination officer will be found wanting to utilize the laptop for the purpose for which it was meant for. It is not time to download all the videos online and save in the system, it will crash because it has capacity and once it gets to its capacity, one may loose the content because it is stretched. It is important to have a backup.
“Please note that those laptops are not given to individuals but to departments. When you are handing over to a new head of department, you are expected to handover same because you signed as the head of department and collected same on behalf of the department. It is meant to service the department and not personal items. We should take care of them like we take care of our personal items.
“I will make unannounced visits to departments and units, so inform your Head to be aware of your absence before you stay away from work. If you have need to stay away from work, your head of department should know. As a provost of this college, I am not untouchable, there is no one in College of Education, Afaha Nsit who is untouchable. I will not only touch you, I will brush you. If you are not ready to work, bring your resignation letter to me. Refusal to answer a query on its own is already an offence. A query is not an indictment, it is an opportunity for you to explain your own side of the story. Do not see us as coming to infringe on your right, everyone has his own right.
“Unions do not fight indiscipline, they fight for welfare to be put in place. When you fail in the discharge of your duty, do not run to the union because that is not the essence of the union. With all amount of humility, sincerity, decorum and sincerity of purpose, put aside idiosyncratic behaviours. We are not where we are because we are the best but it is by God’s grace which is sufficient to us.
He enjoined all to acknowledge the fact that they are called to perform a duty for the benefit of humanity and glory of God which should be their watch word. “No matter the amount of provocation, foul language should not be used on the students, it is not right.”
He also informed that cases of negative report have started dying away and they will continue to die until there will be no cases of negative report.
In his words, “College of education should not be a dumping ground when communication arts, pharmacy, and other courses are filled up and cannot offer admission anymore. Leave the rest which may be environmental factors, we want to see how the students will be attracted to the school from day one, all the distractions are Egyptians and soon, you will see them no more.
He urged exams officers to always be available to supervise their exams. “This means we all need to sit-up, strategize and work to achieve our goal which is excellent students for the benefit of the society. As we speak, we have submitted statement of account of the institution for 2017, 2018, they were outstanding since 2016 which was the last that it was submitted, until few months ago.
“By God’s grace we were able to mobilized the external auditors while 2019 is underway and will soon be through. I do not delay payment, once the funds are available. Let us utilize the little we have, he appealed.
Questions and issues affecting staff welfare were raised at the meeting and was responded to by the appropriate authorities.
The annual town hall meeting which took place at the Mini Theater Hall of the College had in attendance Dr. Kingsley Ibritam, deputy Provost Administration, Philip I. Eduok, acting registrar, Dr. Godwin Akpan, Chairman of Colleges of Education Academic staff Union (COEASU), among other stakeholders.
Also in attendance were members of the different unions, management staff as well as both the teaching and non-teaching staff.