Unical Holds Inaugural Lecture
It is another Educative lecture for staffs and students of University of Calabar as they held the 54th inaugural lecture, Stanley Uchegbu, a 400 level of Accounting Unical attended the lecture.
The Management of University of Calabar has held its 54th inaugural lecture. The lecture which was held at the University International Conference Center was attended by the Vice Chancellor Prof. James Epoke, Deputy Vice Chancellors on Academic and Administration, Prof. Austin Obiekezie and Prof Simeon Utsalo respectively, the University registrar Dr (Mrs.) Julia Omang, Information Officer of the University Mr. Effiong Eyo, Members of the Senate, Dean of Faculties, Head of Departments, Directors, Senior staffs, lecturers, students and other dignitaries.
The title of the lecture was “The Teacher and the Nation” and it was delivered by Prof (Mrs) Akon E. O. Esu, from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, University Of Calabar. She is the first female Professor in Oron Nation and Second in Akwa Ibom State.
Declaring the lecture open, the Vice Chancellor Prof. James Epoke describe the topic as one very consequential adding that there is no education without a teacher and they play a central role in education in the sense that they guides the students and steer the wheel of progress in all field of human endeavors. Prof. Mrs Eka Ume introduced the inaugural lecturer Prof. Akon Esu.
In her lecture, Prof. Akon E.O Esu, described teacher as one who is responsible for the training and mentoring of past, present and future workers and leaders in the nation adding that in education arena, the teacher is responsible for Guidance and Direction. It is as regard to this that the nation uses teachers to breed the best brains in all fields of endeavor, build the best work force, the best social beings and a formidable team of leaders, she said. She added that it is in the realization of its importance that the developed nations have invested such huge sums of money, energy and time on education.
Teaching is both a profession and occupation. It is also a process of impacting knowledge and skills to learners in order to achieve predetermined objectives; she said.
According to her, the development of teacher education in Nigeria started with the establishment of the first teachers training College at Abeokuta in 1889 by the church missionary Society (CMS).
Briefing the audience on the history of teacher from 1960 to date, she said that in 1960, prospective teachers were trained in Teacher Training Colleges and Institute Of Education at the University College of Ibadan for the award of teachers and two certificates (GD.II) and Post Graduate Diploma in education respectively. The diploma programmed was criticized and discontinued in 1958, thus Teacher Grade II certificate was the highest teaching qualification in Nigeria at that time.
She further stated that teachers are those who are professional qualified and trained teachers to provide schooling for learners, pupils and students, stressing that the teachers expect the nation to treat them well in terms of remuneration, incentives and conducive/enabling environment adding that they deserve a comfortable salary when due from the nation in order to motivate them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in teaching the youth.
She condemned the idea that teachers are group of people who will not be paid salaries for several months without the industrial action against the government.
Speaking on the nation, she referred nation as a community of people, who share a common ethnic origin, culture, historical tradition and frequently language, whether or not they live together in one territory or have their own government. The nation establishes schools with some national objectives to be fulfilled by the schools, and the schools use the curriculum as a means to achieve such objectives which are translated into workable instructional objectives at the class room setting by the teachers.
Speaking on expectation she said that, as dispensers of knowledge and skills, students expect teacher to help them acquire knowledge in order to be useful to themselves and the society at large. The student equally expects that as a teacher they should know more than them so that the teachers can always render the needed support and show them the light.
On the nation expectations from teachers, she stressed that the importance of teachers on the development of any country cannot be overemphasized, stating that Nigeria as a country has recognized this and has gone ahead to make a policy statement that no nation can rise against the quality of its teachers”
On teacher’s expectations from the students, she said that teachers expect the students to be discipline and trust worthy citizens who are not cultists and those who do not display any anti –social behaviors. As worthy ambassadors of their Alma mater, they are expected to transfer their learning experience to posterity so that the impact of their training could be sustained and using the necessary skills and knowledge they have acquired to succeed in life. In her contribution, she said that her involvement in the research of the state of the art of elementary education in the state of Wisconsin and how the results of the study were used to re brand education for teachers, students and the staff to meet the 21st century challenges, highly motivate her to start work in the area in Nigeria. That is the reason why many of my publications and research centered at area of Curriculum and Instruction, Social Study and teachers Educations in all it’s ramification
Prof, Akon E.O Esu concluded her inaugural lecture with two important and contestable facts that teachers are not born but made and that without professionally trained, qualified and dedicated teacher, all our laudable and fantastic programmed as well as the Nation’s dreams in all facet of life will be in vain. The Nation cannot do without the teachers. It is when this hard truth is given adequate practical attention that we can move foreword as a country.
In her acknowledgement, she chanelled her sincere gratitude to the committee of Deans and the University of Calabar for providing research Grants to support some of the work and also for sponsoring the conference attendance. She thanks the Professors from the University of Wisconsin, Madison USA and the school of education for appointing her to supervise the teachers from the fall of 1988 to the spring of 1990 adding that it motivated her to focus attention on Teacher Education.
In his vote of thanks, the chairman committee of Dean Prof. E J Aniah, thanked all those that honours the invitation and prayed that God will grant them their heart desires.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. James Epoke in his closing remarks, said that the teachers contributes greatly toward the nation building stressing that the importance of education in every nation cannot be over emphasized. If you think education is expansive try ignorant, he said. He advised the audience to emulate the attributes of a good teacher.