By O’star Eze
A 60-year-old Nwachukwu Nicholas Udemezue, was one of the over 1000 students that took matriculation oath at the 22nd degree and 38th NCE matriculation ceremonies of the Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State, on Friday.
Udemezue, a native of Okija in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State had dropped out of school after Class 5 in 1975, and had learnt Surveying through apprenticeship.
“However, I was challenged to further my education when my clients, who saw how good I was at my work, kept asking me if I were a graduate.
“Also, I had always wanted to learn how to communicate well in the English Language. This is why I decided to enroll for the study of English Language and Social Studies at the level of the National Certificate in Education, NCE,” the 60-year-old told Orient Daily in an exclusive chat at the College.
The father of four, full of determination to still go for a degree program after the NCE, noted that he had trained his children; and with the present opportunity, wants to curve a niche for himself; as according to him, age should not limit man’s quest to acquire education and learning.
Earlier in her address, the Provost of Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Dr. Ifeyinwa Osegbo, enjoined the new students to guard themselves against cult groups or any similar association not approved by the institution.
She assured the matriculants of their security; while also promising them that the school management would continue to provide the necessary infrastructure they would require as they pursue their academic activities.
She tasked them to obey the rules and regulations governing the school, and to project the institution’s objectives and all that it stands for.
“As teachers in training, you are a special group of people, who are being prepared for the enormous task of moulding the character of the younger generation after you,” she said, adding that they should not abuse the freedom the institution gives them by engaging in anti social activities.
“You are, therefore, warned to refrain from enlisting in any secret cult. If you already belong to one before coming here, we prayerfully enjoin you to renounce your membership,” she said.
The Provost also appreciated the government of Anambra State and the Commissioner for Tertiary, Science and Technology Education for showing love and interest in the school.
“Your love for and interest in this College is always displayed by your quick, prompt response and attention to our needs and yearnings epitomized by the ongoing construction of the college internal roads,” she said.
In his own remarks during the event, Governor Willie Obiano, who was a Visitor to the school, assured that his government would provide secured ground to ensure academic progress, and tasked the students to be mindful of the business which brings them to the school.
The governor, represented by Commissioner for Tertiary, Science and Technology Education, Professor Nkechi Theresa Obiekezie, said, “Your security in Anambra State is assured, and I will do everything to make sure that you are comfortable in this institution.
“At the moment, we are fencing this institution around the area where some people are trying to encroach. I am presently tarring the internal roads of the institution; and, as soon as the law on the new minimum wage is passed, my administration will be the first to implement it by increasing the salary of the staff of this institution.
“Do a favour to your parents and to yourself by focussing on what you are here for. Say no to cultism and internet fraud. Channel that strength into your studies, and, at the end of the day, you will make your parents and yourself proud.”
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, represented by the Dean, Faculty of Education, Prof. Dominic Ngwoke, charged the students to see their admission into the UNN affiliated degree program at NOCEN as special gift to unwrap their future.
He said, “This university has zero tolerance for cultism and other negative vices or misconducts. University disciplinary procedures are very strict. It is important that you bear in mind your reason for joining the institution and, therefore, should conduct yourselves as leaders of tomorrow.
“Encourage and exhibit the highest standard of ethical and moral values. Execute all actions in compliance with rules of the university and the laws of the land.
“Treat everyone fairly and justly regardless of their religion, gender or geographical origin,” he admonished.