By Ben Nwanne
A great feeling of nostalgia pervaded 750 Hall A at Site 3, Delta State University, Abraka when old students of the defunct College of Education, Abraka, the ancestor of the Delta State University, Abraka paid the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Egwunyenga a courtesy visit over the weekend.
The College of Education, Abraka was a very popular school in its time, attracting national and international attention and support with the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) providing expert lecturers to virtually all the departments. Most of the old students are in their 60s and 70s but look quite good for their senior citizens status. Most of them are retired and trying to manage their retirement in their own way and ageing gracefully. The reunion, according to one of their members, Professor Jiff Mokobia, who recently retired from the services of Delta State University, Abraka, said their members, from all over the world and distinguished in different professions gather every two years to “Celebrate and thank God. We fellowship with one another and re-enact the good old times of the College of Education”
Professor Mokobia, a resident co-ordinator recalled that the College had high standards and its graduates could compete with those from Universities. Each department was fully equipped with staff and materials. According to the bilingual Professor, “We decided to look round the University to see the level of improvement recorded since the emergence of the University over three decades ago and try to see if there are still relics of the College days.”
An elated Professor Egwunyenga could not hold back his joy at the rare reunion of the senior citizens. He said their visit spoke volumes about the high quality of the education they received in those days. Describing the institution as a “prime College of Education,” Professor Egwunyenga said their visit suggested that there was “hope for the University.” He spoke on the high quality of the College at the time.” You know the quality of your hostels, restaurants, classrooms and the passion of your lecturers. It was international, that is what Universities are trying to be now. Professor Egwunyenga who is giving DELSU enlightened and committed leadership remarked as an organized group they have much to offer the University including goodwill, contact and anything of value you may consider necessary.
He advised them not to sever the relationship with the University, adding that the current generation of staff and students were enjoying the foundation laid by them. “We want you to be on our own mailing list. Let us maintain our relationship that would be of benefit to the young ones,” he added.
Responding to the Vice-Chancellor’s speech, Mr Austin Ikechukwu, the Group’s Chief Co-ordinator who works with the United States Portal Service in Texas pledged the Group’s support and advised that the University should treat all applicants with consideration. While expressing gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor for the audience granted them, he noted that there had been a tremendous improvement in the University and that “the smallest student you see here today, treat them with respect. You do not know what they would be in the future.”