Former President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed his readiness to return to the classroom if offered such opportunity, especially at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Jonathan disclosed this yesterday while speaking at the 35th and 36th combined convocation ceremony of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt where he was conferred with “Icon of Democracy” award.
The former president, who left office in 2015, expressed gratitude to the institution for the honour done to him.
He said: “I want to specially thank the Senate of the University for considering my family worthy of double honours, to wit: the conferment of the honour of Icon of Democracy on me and the naming of the new Automated University Library after my wife, Dame Patience Jonathan.
“I always attach so much importance to any recognition coming from home because I strongly believe that no prize commands higher value than the one given by the beneficiary’s direct constituency.”
Jonathan stated that the visit is like homecoming for him, as a former lecturer in the Rivers State College of Education, which was upgraded to a full-fledged university.
The former president said: “Let me also say that I had good job satisfaction here, compared to all the other places I have worked. I know that the only major challenge academic staff face is with the reward system, considering the fact that as a nation, we are yet to get to the point where we pay our teachers the wages they deserve.
“However, for all the hindrances teachers face, they derive a fulfilling experience and satisfaction from the special relationship they cultivate with their students. This is because bringing up the young ones is very rewarding in a very distinct manner. The bond, friendship and sense of loyalty are eternal.
“Even today, the way my former students regard and relate with me is different from the way my fellow politicians relate with me, even those I mentored.”
Visitor to the university and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, announced the release of N500million to the management of the institution for expansion of key facilities.
He said: “For us therefore, providing quality education for our people is an absolute necessity as nothing can be more important.
“That was why we have and will continue to prioritise the provision of quality education for our children and adults alike to acquire the knowledge and skills that they need to succeed and contribute to our collective progress.”
The governor stated that at the tertiary level, his administration would continue to expand both access and quality with the progressive injection of more resources for the provision of relevant learning resources and infrastructure.
Wike said: “Here in this university, we recently released the sum of N200, 000,000.00 as capital grant for fiscal year 2017 and we are happy with the qualitative deployment of this money by the vice chancellor to meet the infrastructure needs of this university.
“We are also pleased with the progressive increase in enrolment being experienced by the university in recent times, which shows a growing confidence in the quality and relevance of the progammes of the university.
“These unparalleled achievements clearly testify to the fact that the university is fulfilling its mandate of producing quality teaching and administrative manpower to drive the educational needs of the state and our nation.”
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