It was jubilation galore in Owerri the Imo State capital Thursday morning when news got to the students and staff of the Alvan Ikokwu Federal College of Education, AIFCE, that the institution had been converted to university status.
Students and staff of the institution erupted in a wild jubilation as the provost, Professor Blessing Ijoma formally announced to the students the new status of the institution, as they marched to the street, singing and praising the federal government.
Their happy jubilations caused heavy gridlock in the major roads around the school as the institution now became Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education, AIFUE.
The Federal Executive Council had on Wednesday approved the conversion of the AIFCE and three other federal colleges of education to universities.
Speaking later at a press conference, the Provost of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education(AIFCE), Professor Ijeoma said that the upgrade of the institution to a university by the Federal Government was long overdue following the long standing achievement of the school in the last thirty four years of its establishment.
According to her, the institution which was established in 1963 as Advance Teachers Training College(ATTC) then had always been accredited and recognised as a diploma awarding institution, affiliated to the University of Nigeria Nsuka, for that period of time.
Ijeoma noted further that with the present infrastructural development in the school, as well as academic qualifications of staff, such as boasting of a seven hundred staff , three hundred and fifty of them , Master degree holders and one hundred and sixty who are PhD holders.
The Provost who described the upgrade of the institution as a “golden era” in the history of the school commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the minister of education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau for considering the school among others in the country for upgrade, however called for a speedy implementation of the project.
Meanwhile, the union leaders in the school have moved a step further, clamouring for the provost to be elevated as the first varsity chancellor of the school.
President of the College of Education and Academic Staff Union of the school, Dr Ukachi Wachukwu, insisted during their happy march around the environs of AIFC that the incumbent provost stands better qualified to be the substansie VC of the school.