Friday 23rd June, 2017
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Educational institutions need bailout from business owners - Prof Udigwe

Educational institutions need bailout from business owners - Prof Udigwe

Prof Gerald Udigwe is the Dean, Faculty of Medicine in the College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus. In this interview with Isaac Ojo, the professor of obstetrics and gynecology speaks on the need for big business owners to help in tackling challenges facing educational institutions.
On the relationship be­tween the business class and educational institutions, Prof Udigwe not­ed that most institutions in the country, particularly the col­lege hardly get support from the private sector in terms of projects execution.
His words: “In some oth­er climes, successful business­men and women normally make some endowment into the educational institutions op­erating in and outside their en­vironment in the spirit of giv­ing back to the society. This has proven to be a veritable instru­ment for the academic institu­tions to escape from shortage and paucity of funds.
“We have not fully gotten to that level in Nigeria where peo­ple go back to their alma ma­ter and do something signifi­cant for their former schools or institutions in their opera­tional environment. It is a cul­ture that is capable of turning things around for the research and educational institutions if fully developed.”
The dean, who was elected unopposed, said that his ad­ministration would reach out to successful businessmen and industrialists in and around Anambra State for partnership on educational endowment as it is done in other climes to get adequate resources to carry out his programmes for the college.
He said, “We want to com­puterise the records of the col­lege to make it easy for anyone to access. This has not been done since the college was es­tablished over twenty years ago, when files are as old as 20 years, they are not expected to be in a perfect shape but by computer­isation, it becomes easy to keep and access the records. This is a capital intensive project.
“There is also problem of limited space in this college, many of our lecturers and pro­fessors don’t have offices be­cause the college is located in the old General Hospital site, the limited space is not really conducive for effective teach­ing and learning.”
On his emergence as dean, he said “I was really overwhelmed with the level of support I got from my colleagues, in the last 20 years, the post has always been keenly contested for, but the moment I signified my in­terest, my colleagues nominat­ed and elected me unopposed.
“I thank them for the con­fidence they have in me that I can turn things around for the better here and I must say that overwhelming confidence calls for more hard work and in fact makes it compulsory for me to think out of the box to move the college forward.
“I promised and I still promise that I will give 110 per cent of my efforts to make a good job of the opportuni­ty given to me to serve. We all know that the field of med­icine is such that advance­ments take place almost on daily basis and it is our desire and hope to keep our lectur­ers and student abreast of lat­est development so that they can meet up with internation­al standard.
“We hope to expand our training and our exam method must change to keep up with international standard and practice, this also calls for an upgrade in our teaching meth­od, we want to train our stu­dents to meet the internation­al standards.”
Prof Udigwe, however de­clared that the students from the college are doing very well as they have distinguished themselves whenever they go for examination and inter­views in and outside the coun­try, noting that he intends to keep them focused and real­ized that they are in 52 weeks a year programme without a privilege of break or holiday unlike other faculties like En­gineering and Social Sciences.

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