‘We are smoothly transitioning from college to university.
The Federal Government recently upgraded Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE) in Owerri, Imo State, to Alvan Ikoku University of Education (AIUE), and the institution’s authorities have assured the public that the transition from a college to a university will be seamless.
The administration also discussed its decision to stop accepting new students into the National Certificate of Education (NCE) program. Dr. Ngozi Lemchi, acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), said in a press conference yesterday that the decision was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s recent approval of the university’s new status as a university of education.
Lemchi, who was the provost of the institution prior to its upgrade, clarified, however, that the NCE students already admitted before the upgrade was approved by the president on June 2 would be tutored and graduated accordingly.
The university informed her that the institution under her watch had written to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to include the institution’s academic details in the board’s brochure and website with the necessary recognition accorded to them.
She urged students already admitted, both undergoing studies at both NCE and degree levels, to be hopeful of acquiring the required world-standard academic knowledge from the university, assuring that it would equip them for the job market.
While expressing gratitude to President Tinubu, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, and the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, among others, pledged to actualize the collective dream of the college becoming a university.”
She recalled how the 60-year-old institution metamorphosed from an Advanced Teachers’ Training College in 1963 to a full College of Education in 1973 and its present status.
According to her, the institution, in affiliation with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was authorized to award a Bachelor of Education in 1981, adding that the earlier Edict in 1973 was repealed and amended to be the 21st College of Education in Nigeria, informing her that, in conjunction with the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), a Diploma of Education program, among other programs, was put in place.
The journey to greatness of the institution recorded a leap in 2015, when the then Federal Government under Dr. Goodluck Jonathan upgraded it and three other institutions to a university, regretting that when another administration succeeded Jonathan, the status was reversed and put on hold.
A re-upgrade, Lemchi, was disclosed by the approval made by Tinubu on June 2, followed by the real take-off instruments issued and the statuses of the principal officers issued by the Federal Ministry of Education on October 20, 2023.
“You can see that we have come a long way. It has been a very long walk,’’ she expressed.