Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, has charged the University of Uyo management team to rejig the institution’s science curriculum to bridge the technological gap and enhance the economic growth of the nation.
The governor who was was among dignitaries at the 24th Convocation Ceremony of the University, pointed out that Nigerian universities have a role in achieving sustainable democracy, explaining that producing graduates versed in science and technology would contribute to economic development which, would in turn, strengthened democracy.
According to the governor, “Democracy and Economic growth work hand in hand, democracy cannot flourish without the corresponding economic growth and prosperity. In as much as liberal sciences remain the defining blocks of understanding the realities of our social relations, we should begin to tailor our curriculum around the areas of science and technology.”
While donating N100m to enhance development projects in the institution, he commended the governing council and staff of the university for maintaining the passion for academic excellence which the institution is known for, asserting that Uniuyo has become one of the most sought after tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
He congratulated the graduands on their success and urged them to exhibit the glowing tendencies inculcated in them during their study at the university, hoping that the knowledge they acquired would place them in advantaged positions to successfully compete with their contemporaries while projecting them as worthy ambassadors of their institution.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to qualitative education, saying that it is one of the cardinal responsibilities of the state government and maintained that the huge investment in the education sector is justified as a social debt to the people.
The governor restated that primary and secondary school education remains free in Akwa Ibom State, noting that students in tertiary institutions are also accommodated in generous grants from the state government and acknowledged his administration’s efforts at providing conducive learning environment for pupils and students in public schools.
He said that it was his believe that students in public schools should be given the same educational opportunity as their contemporaries in the private schools, indicating that it was the conviction that prompted the huge expense and employment of qualitative teachers for public educational institutions in the state.
The Convocation Ceremony, preceded with a Lecture on the theme, “Creating a World-class University For A Vibrant Nigerian Economy and Sustainable Democracy”, held at the Institution’s Convocation Arena, Main Campus, Nwaniba Road, Uyo.
A total of 4,539 graduands were awarded various Degrees, Certificates and Diplomas, comprising 631 Higher Degrees, 3,678 First Degrees and 230 Diplomas and Certificates.
The University also conferred a Post-humus Honorary Degree of Doctor of Medicine on Dr Ann Ward, an Irish Missionary who devoted 50 years of her life at Saint Luke’s Hospital, Anua, to saving the lives of women with pelvic deformities caused by complicated births and later built the Vesico-Vaginal Fistula, VVF, Centre at Mbribit Itam, Akwa Ibom State, which became the sole centre for obstetric fistula operations in the South South and South East of Nigeria.