By Ayantunde Ayangbayi, JP
Hundred of graduands in various fields of Medical Technology and Allied Studies who filed out in columns thrilled the crowd that converged in the convocation arena of Bartholomew College of Health Technology in Shao, Kwara State. It was the 12th Convocation ceremony held on Wednesday, 16th December, 2020.
Despite their masks neatly covering their nostrils and mouth, the excitement on the eyes of the guests, graduands, well-wishers and the general public that witnessed the epoch-making ceremony marched the sequence with the lively music played and can be felt.
Dignitaries at the occasion included, the Ohoro of Shao, Alaiyeluwa Oba Adesina Adegbite, in company of his traditional chieftaincy title holders, representative of the Hon. Commissioner of Tertiary Education, Alhaji Garuba Sikiru Mohammed who is the Director, Tertiary Education in the Ministry, his Deputy – Alhaja Mojirola Ameen, Provosts of different institutions in the State, representative of Nursing & Midwifery Council, Stakeholders, Shao Community Youths and Associations. Others are security agencies, the Press, food and water vendors etcetera.
Cheers from the crowd followed as graduands filed out in different colourful academic gowns to take their seats, during the college academic procession and all other protocols duly observed.
The outpouring of love towards Dr. Bartholomew Owoicho from the graduands, Civil community present at the occasion was not surprising. Bartho – as he is fondly called – is a man whose sterling qualities distinguished him in service to his fatherland and humanity. His integrity, intelligence, diligence, discipline, honesty, exemplary leadership style, inclusiveness and above all, the fear of God in him were never in doubt.
In his brief speech at the convocation, the proprietor of the College who plays a tripartite role(s) as Chairman, Governing Council and Rector, emphasized, “This College is privately owned, offered provisional approval by Kwara State Government, making tremendous efforts to issue certificates such that graduating students from this College can compete favourably with any of their contemporaries, elsewhere”.
He added, “Our products are worthy in learning with sound moral character, they have acquired the skills, knowledge and ethics, leading to award of National Diploma, Higher National Diploma or Technician Certificate”.
Dr. Owoicho reiterated, “Here we have proficient and well motivated lecturers that are creative and scholastics who are ready to teach and assist students in their learning process coupled with conducive learning environment readily available”.
He promised that the college does not compromise standards set by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Kaduna and appreciated the Kwara State Ministry of Tertiary, Science and Technology for keeping the college on its oars through proper monitoring, evaluation and assessment regularly.
Delivering the speech of the Commissioner of Tertiary Education, Alhaji Garba Sikiru Mohammed, the softspoken director thanked the College management for upholding excellence, accountability and not compromising standards.
“Your college is reckoned with by the State government for keying into our reforms and education strategies: the college is playing a dual role bridging the gap of health and manpower needs in the state, Dr. Bartholomew Owoicho is highly appreciated for his nobilities while the College is regarded as essential to the overall developmental needs of the state”.
The Commissioner, however warns, “It is pertinent to note that COVID-19 has been ravaging the world since the beginning of year 2020. All precautionary measures should therefore be put in place and the protocols observed as laid down by the Nigerian Council for Diseases Control, just as she prayed that we shall be free from the deadly disease (Amen)”.
Hajia Sa’adat Modibbo Kawu congratulated the graduands and the parents urging the graduands, “to render services based on their training and should imbibed the ethics of the profession, struggle to improve themselves and be good ambassadors of the college in the outer world”.
Alaiyeluwa Oba Kabiyesi Adesina Adegbite, the Ohoro of Shaoland poured his royal blessings onto the graduands, the College and its founder, “Almighty God will continue to prosper the college and make way for graduands as they go into the larger society to contribute their quota to national development, assuring Dr. Bartholomew Owoicho of God’s abundantly blessings in all his endeavours”.
There was a cultural display from students, presentation of gifts, lecture on health tips etcetera.
Mrs. Hannah Oluwaseyi, the Personal Secretary to the Proprietor, Chairman, Governing Council & Rector, described Dr. Owoicho as thus, “A good natured person, very thorough and highly disciplined in all ramification”.
Alhaji Abdulkareem Oriola, a management staff, said, “Dr. Bartholomew Owoicho is a national asset, very sound minded, full of ideas, a workaholic, never compromise standards, he pay salaries, claims, emoluments as and when due to his workers, this college is a privately owned institution situated in the North Central zone of the country that lives up to expectations always”.
Pharm. Tech. John Omoribigbe Afolabi, MCPA, said, “Our students are disciplined, God fearing, hard working without any social vices, the students are the mirror of the college. Our proprietor is decisive, formidable and prayerful.
Yes, Wednesday 16th December, 2020 will continue to be indelible in the memories of the graduands, college and host communities, the invitees, stakeholders, the general public and alike.
No doubt, the founder of the college, Chairman, Governing Board and Rector of the college has made a mark, lifting education sector to a commendable heights, a leading privately owned citadel of learning that does not compromise standards and discipline will continue to excel, create practical possibilities and open new frontiers to advance the course of humanity in all facets of human endeavours now and beyond.
*Ayangbayi is a media consultant, based in Ilorin.
By Ayantunde Ayangbayi, JP