-School Retains position as best Polytechnic in Nigeria
By Martin Opara
The Rector of the Federal Polytenic Nekede, Engr (Dr) M.C. Arimanwa, has reeled out his several monumental achievements that have boosted the morale of staff, repositioned the institution and given it a pride of place in the comity of tertiary institutions in the country, since he assumed office barely two years ago.
Dr Arimanwa, who was appointed in September 2018 and inaugurated in October, same year, while interacting with Newsmen in Owerri yesterday,said it has been a period of progress, sustained vision and pragmatic leadership that have culminated in infrastrural development, digitalization of the school’s operations, making learning and access to information and other facilities uncumbersome.
He stated that, the school, for the first time since inception, has launched what he called, the “Smart Campus Initiative” (SCI) that digitalized virtually all activities in the school, including payment of school fees, request for receipts, transcripts, results, etc.
“ There is no longer need for students to travel from distant places or be physically present to access our services or queue endlessly in the sun to pay school fees, obtain receipts, apply for transcripts or get their results, as all these can now be done online from the comfort of their hostels, homes or offices with ease. We have also keyed into the E- Learning device, which the Covid-19 pandemic has made very necessary and relevant. Students can now learn and study online; though this does not rule out physical learning in the classrooms.”
Dr Arimanwa also said that new administrative and lecture and halls have been constructed in the school under his watch. Some of the buildings presently under construction, include,the school of Environmental Design Technology, School of Engineering which has two of the buildings while the School of Applied Science has two. “All the buildings except one have been roofed and are in advanced stages of completion”.
He further stated that, on assumption of office and in line with his passion for quality and excellence, the the school embarked on the training and retraining of lecturers within and outside the country, while some have been encouraged to attend short duration courses and conferences that will expose and keep them abreast of latest information, trends and expertise in their areas of specialization. “This is very necessary because, to get quality, you must, as a matter of priority, invest in the training and retraining of staff”.
“In a bid to ensure enhanced quality of teaching and learning, the school has constituted anti plagiarism committee that ensures that books, papers, and journals are thoroughly screened to ascertain their originality before they are sent out.”
He noted that, aside the National Board for Technical Education’s (NBTE) assessment and award of Best Performing Polytechnic on the institution, reports from the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB) in the past years, indicate that the school has become the most favorite choice of applicants seeking admission, for obvious reasons.
“It should also be noted that the school’s Medical Center, is being gradually upgraded to become a hospital because, in addition to staff and students, outsiders also avail themselves of services rendered”.
The Rector also said that, aside having received accreditation to recruit candidates for internship in Dentistry, Pharmacy and Optometry, “arrangements are in top gear towards making the school a centre for the Institute of Charted Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
The Federal Polytechnic Nekede, also recently inaugurated a Covid-19 Response Action team that produced semi automated hand washing equipment that is operated by pressing a pedal that dispenses water for hand washing, in addition to a fully automated, solar powered hand washing equipment that operates by the use of inbuilt censor.
Commenting on the alleged arrest and detention of students, the Rector said, the peculiar environment of the institution, poses a challenge, as most of those who claim to be students are not. He gave instance of when the police arrested about seventy people who claimed to be students. “But after thorough investigation and scrutiny, only three out of them were actually students of the polytechnic. Most of the people, who cause problems within and around the academic community, are impostors who claim to be students, thereby denting the image of the polytechnic.”
He however, assured that management of the Polytechnic is not relenting, as adequate machinery has been put in place to check the ugly trend and bring culprits to book.
He commended the Nigeria police and other sister security agencies and that of institution’s security apparatus for diligently living up to expectation, and assured that if any student is unlawfully arrested, the management will step in and effect his release.
He used the opportunity to warn impostors who parade as students thereby denting the image of the school, to desist forthwith or face the wrath of the law, stressing that, “if you don’t have a registration number, you are not our student.”