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I’m ready to return to the classroom – Fmr. President Goodluck Jonathan

Valentine Chinyem



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said he is ready to return to the classroom if such opportunity presents itself, especially at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.

The former president said this during the 35th and 36th combined convocation ceremony of the institution in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Saturday.

Jonathan who was also conferred with “Icon of Democracy” award, expressed gratitude to the institution for the honour done to him.

Jonathan receiving the award from Rivers Gov. Wike

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.”

Describing his visit to the institution as an homecoming for him, Jonathan 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.

As a former lecturer in the Rivers State College of Education, which was upgraded to a full-fledged university, he added that, “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.”

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, who was also at the ceremony, announced that N500million has been released by his administration, to the management of the institution for the 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.”

“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, Wike added.

“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.”