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Nation Building: VC, Obong Varsity Tasks New Students On Early Preparation For Patriotic Obligation Ahead

By Borono Bassey
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Students studying in tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been reminded of the fact that the nation presently exists at a time where it needs positive and result-oriented contributions from every citizen for it to move forward.

To this end, they have been urged to take their studies more seriously in order to graduate on time and offer themselves up for this patriotic call.

Giving the charge at the 9th Matriculation Ceremony of Obong University, Obong Ntak, in Akwa Ibom state, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Udoudo Ekanemesang told the matriculating students that the best time to begin the preparation for a rewarding and responsible life outside the university was to make the core values of hard work, discipline and unfettered dedication to their studies a way of life from their first day as students of Obong University.

He said as leaders of the future, it was imperative for them to steer clear of vices capable posing serious threats to their academic pursuits and could also have the tendency of robbing of the concentration needed to acquire the kind of knowledge that will make them active players in the task of nation building in the future.

Professor Ekanemesang who listed such vices to include cultism, missing lectures among others told the new students to take optimum advantage of the existing conducive environment for teaching and learning complemented by a team of dedicated staff of lecturers and administrators in the institution to further their pursuit for valuable knowledge.

The Vice Chancellor said in keeping with Obong university’s avowed pledge of producing globally competitive graduates for personal and societal benefits, management of the institution will not renege in its continuous effort of providing effective academic leadership and mentoring in a manner that is consistent with the development of an all-round institution that can address and meet the challenges of the twenty first century.

In his words, “All the facilities required to enhance efficient and effective delivery of a modern learning experience to our students are on ground. The University has , well-equipped laboratories for teaching and research; well-equipped classrooms with modern teaching facilities, internet access with wireless access points within the campus premises. Our Library has good volumes of books and journals for all disciplines, an enhanced virtual library with thousands of free e-books for downloading. Obong University has a Practical Entrepreneurial Training Centre for the sole purpose of adding value to the knowledge acquired by students and ensuring that no student graduates without a skill that will ensure sustainable living should such a person does not immediately secure an employment in the formal sector.

The University expects students to also play their part, cooperate with the University and make optimum use of opportunities available to them. We exist at a time where our nation is in dire need of citizens who can make meaningful contributions to the task of Nation building. As it is our tradition, we will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to take up this patriotic challenge.

As a University, it is our hope that parents and guardians will complement our efforts in developing their wards into dependable leaders of this Nation by paying just more than financial attention to the growth of their wards throughout their stay in Obong University. We enjoin them to join and put up regular attendance at every meeting of the Parents’ Forum as crucial issues affecting the welfare of their wards are usually discussed in those meetings”

While congratulating the matriculating students for scaling through the hurdles of the admission process, Professor Ekanemesang also reminded the new students that by taking the matriculation oath, they have publicly declared their willingness to abide by the terms and obligations of studentship and commitment to the University’s core values.

Earlier, a Matriculation lecture on the topic Education for Sustainable Development: The Obong University experience” was delivered by a renowned professor of Zoology in the institution Professor Efana Usua who stressed that given the importance of education, it was out of place for Private investors in education, especially at the tertiary level to be left to bear the burden of providing education to the youths, all by themselves.

Professor Usua spoke of the need for government to review its policy on the funding of University education in order to accommodate private universities since these universities were also significant contributions to eradicating illiteracy in the society.

Highpoint of the ceremony was the administration of the matriculation oath on the new students cutting across the 10 Programmes offered in the University.