The Faculty of Agriculture in Bowen University has been urged not to limit their lectures to theories alone, but also engage the students in many practical sessions and demonstrations that have to do with their disciplines, which will be beneficial to them and revive agriculture in the country.
Making this assertion was Zimbabwean Agriculturist, George Marechera, who is the managing director of Agro Tech limited, an Organization under the auspices of the African technology fund, during a mechanization training organized by the faculty of Agriculture, Bowen University Iwo, Osun state.
While expatiating on mechanized farming, he said mechanized farming entails using modern equipment and facilities to aid agriculture and its development, saying his presence in Bowen University is to collaborate with the school in the area of mechanized production especially on cassava and other root crops, and also to create more impact on farming and its techniques.
Marechera called on the government to further promote mechanized farming and provide support to ensure it is adopted by every farmer. In his words, “if the governments of African nations, especially Nigeria who we all look up to can focus more on mechanized agriculture and fully support it, Africa can become self-sufficient in no distant time.”
Of the five best performances that the NPrA recognized, four of them were students of Bowen namely:
Precious Akanbi 1st Position
Ajedoyin Dorcas Olojede 2nd runner-up
Verena Odebunmi 3rd runner-up
Chinenye Okolo 4th runner-up
In addition to the certificates and prizes awarded by Bowen University and the NPrA respectively, the latter will sponsor all the winners (including the student from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka who took the 2nd Position) to the 3rd International Conference of the Nigerian Pragmatics Association in March, 2020, and showcase them to the International audience.
The Vice-Chancellor of Bowen, University, Professor Joshua Ogunwole has reiterated the devotion of the university to explore and implement decisions and policies that will make the institution one of the foremost citadels of learning in Africa.
Professor Ogunwole who was represented by Professor John Ayoade (Chairman, Committee of Provosts and Deans, and Dean, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Bowen University) stated this at the second national workshop cum conference on pragmatics research and Workshop of the Nigerian Pragmatics Association in partnership with the department of English of Bowen University.
He added that strategic use of language, being the cardinal subject at the gathering, occupies a place of pride in the ongoing efforts of the university in the process of repositioning and rebranding.
He challenged lead speakers at the workshop, to explore ways in which the roles of language will have more impact and be channeled towards successful executions of all aspects of the efforts, and thanked the association for choosing Bowen University as the host.
The national president of the Nigerian Pragmatics Association (NPrA), Professor Akin Odebunmi said, “with the birth of the Nigerian Pragmatics Association, the study of language use is no longer an inner-room business of a reclusive underdog in Nigeria, but a Nigeria-networked discipline with standards consistent with the current-minute standards in the global spread.”
He added that one of the main goals of the association is to build members’ capacity and groom young people in the core skill of pragmatics.
“The whole essence of the academia is the generation and dispensation of knowledge, the very pilot not only of our pedagogy, but also our professional being; the very bedrock of our relevance and distinctive identity which inspires originality and societal growth,” he said.
He also noted that the NPrA is equally and centrally involved in the conception of the African Pragmatics Association, which is currently led by Professor Nana Aba Appiah Anfo of Legon University, Ghana.
The keynote speaker, Professor Adewale Adegbite of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said pragmatic methods are needed if there must be a fuller, deeper and generally more reasonable account of human language behaviour, adding “outside pragmatics, there can be no understanding of utterances.”
Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor of Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano, Professor Mustapha Ahmad Isa, who gave the plenary lecture on the topic ‘Pragmatics: the Expanding Frontiers’ charged the NPrA to be an association the supports scholarly research in both theoretical and applied pragmatics in general, but with specific focus on the various sub-fields that have emerged over time, including the cognitive, historical, social, inter-language, linguistic and inter-cultural paradigms of pragmatics.
Delegates from Obafemi Awolowo University,Ile-Ife; University of Ilorin, University of Ibadan, Redeemer’s University, Ede; Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; as well as from across African countries like Cameroon and Ghana, numbering over 200 were in attendance at the conference. At the breakout sessions, undergraduates from participating universities were given the opportunity to write a test for competitive sponsorship programmes. According to Prof. Odebunmi, the NPrA president, the test would enable them apply for support in future events and give them opportunities to win grants.
Of the 51 student-participants from the universities in attendance, 5 emerged with the best performances, with Bowen students dominating the pack. Precious Akanbi of Bowen University emerged as the overall best, with Justinah Ekechukwu of University of Nigeria, Dorcas Olojede of Bowen University, Verena Odebunmi of Bowen University and Chinenye Okolo of Bowen University claiming the second, third, fourth and fifth positions, respectively.
The association also awarded a posthumous distinguished pragmatician award to the late Professor Emmanuel Efurrosibina Adegbija, for his outstanding contributions to the study of pragmatics.
The conference, which held from April 28 – May 1, 2019, had the theme: CONTEXT, DISCOURSE AND KNOWLEDGE CONSTRUCTION and was graced by several dignitaries and distinguished scholars.
The Vice-Chancellor had an interactive session with all 100Level students of Bowen University on Friday, 24th May, 2019.
The students were given opportunity to ask questions about anything that concerned them and Professor Ogunwole in true fashion, took the time to answer each one of them.
Where grave concerns were raised, he promised that the administration would look into such issues and work them out speedily.
Overall, the VC intimated them on the changes to be expected in the new session, the steps the university is taking to ensure steady power supply and exposure-based learning among others, and reiterated that his office would be open to receive feedback, suggestions and complaints from students, anytime.
No society fares better than the quality of human capacity assembled in such a society. One of the time- tested ways of developing the human capacity is through reading; because it is in books that life-changing information are submerged awaiting the curious and motivated reader to identify and use for personal and community development. The deterministic nature of technology is dictating a new pattern especially among young people. Rather than the age-long practice of reading, priority now exists for the use of mobile technology and other devices that generate varied contents for entertainment at the expense of education. An inflection point is noticed and this is the problem that Bowen University is addressing in the Mediated Reading Plan (MRP). The Bowen University reading model leverages on technology to engender productive reading and post-reading discussions.
The MRP leverages on available technology-driven platforms at the disposal of students as a means for small-group reading engagements, it also affords participants the privilege of self-learning using minimal resources at the disposal of the learner and benefitting from direct access to unlimited information on the internet.
In March 2019, a pilot reading scheme was launched with 23 students who volunteered to read the Forbes – published ‘AFRICA RISE AND SHINE.’ The book, which comprises of thirty chapters, meets the core values of the University (Godliness, Excellence, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Responsibility). The book was selected, read and subjected to thorough review for the purpose of shaping and reshaping the opinions of participants.
The University Management led by Prof. Joshua Olalekan Ogunwole believes that knowledge is fundamental in moving successfully from one phase of life to another – and the only way this can be made possible is when a significant portion of the students read and do so frequently and productively. In the words of the Vice-Chancellor; “Management has also invested heavily in the entrepreneurship education of the students under two broad areas termed Skill-based and Knowledge- based entrepreneurship. The MRP fits into the knowledge based entrepreneurship mode where the individual becomes enterprising through accumulation of useful knowledge.
A comprehensive review was adopted and the book was read and reviewed for 15 days. The reading was done when the school went on election break. The platform used had teaching members of staff for whom the students hold in high esteem and submit themselves for mentoring and participants were assigned roles on the platform as moderators, prompters, divers, super-divers and chief divers.
In the end, the students who participated in the first reading were celebrated at the University Chapel, a venue that holds about 5,000 students at a sitting. Currently, about a hundred students are on que for the next batch of review while a team of about 40 are currently holding daily discussion on the different platforms. The MRP has succeeded in using the same platforms that distract the students as an avenue to build and further shape their lives.
The following are testimonies of some of the student participants:
“I have participated in a host of group readings before and I have not had the kind of experience I had in Bowen with the Mediated Reading Plan. With an application as simple as WhatsApp, I was able to exchange views and critically read the Jim Ovia’s Africa Rise and Shine. The MRP is a great initiative and I am sure several students will get really fascinated doing this in the future.”
– Tobi Onigbogi
“It was fascinating for me to read and to review in a completely different way. I had the privilege of participating as a Moderator. The job of a moderator centres on coordination; I was thrilled by the depth of ideas that emanated from my colleagues – the same set of people I play with regularly. I was additionally thrilled by their enthusiasm and energy on a daily basis. It was a beautiful experience; I relish it and I plead that the University sustains the reading plan.”
– Lawi Wulanga
Bowen University appreciates Mr. Jim Ovia for the donation of 100 copies of Africa Rise and Shine to the University. He is appreciated for making the maiden mediated reading plan possible through hard copies circulated to participants.
A Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Niger East Federal Constituency, David Umaru has commended the management of Bowen University for raising future leaders who are decent, exceptional and of good moral standing. He stated this during a courtesy visit paid to him by Rev. Dr. Larry Ayuba, Mrs. Foluke Ayuba Director DIACA (Directorate of Institutional Advancement and Corporate Affairs), and the secretary of the parents forum, Prince (Hon.) Bisi Ogunkale.
Prior to that, the senator representing Nassarawa North Federal Constituency showered praises on Bowen University and the Vice Chancellor Professor Joshua Ogunwole for spearheading the fight against drug peddling and abuse, after the meeting of Bowen University’s top management and stakeholders (which include parents and alumnus) at First Baptist Church Area 11, Garki-Abuja on Sunday 20th January, 2019.
Parents who were present at the meeting which began at 2pm were given opportunity to bare their minds and ask questions concerning issues which concern their wards. They collectively agreed that the fight to rid the University of drug-related issues and other social vices is an all-inclusive fight that would involve more than the school authorities.
Bowenians (alumnus of Bowen University) present at the meeting expressed their gratitude and resolve to be great ambassadors of Bowen University in their various fields, and to do all in their power to ensure the core values of the institution are upheld.
In a chat with Bowenians, the Vice Chancellor reiterated his commitment to developing and supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, ground breaking research and technological advancement, and told them not to hesitate to reach out to him with their ideas on how to further develop their alma mater.
University Management has inaugurated a committee on Quality Assurance and Monitoring.
Professor Ogunwole, while briefing the committee members on the terms of reference said “the aim of this committee is to ensure strict adherence to the laid down rules and regulations that govern a university environment like ours. For us to properly train our students and set the pace for the nation and indeed the world at large, we ourselves as academics and administrators must be accountable and responsible. If we must correct and sanction students for offences like truancy, then staff members must not be seen to be above the law.”
He charged them to do the job they have been given with the utmost sense of responsibility and integrity, and to ensure that favoritism will not have any part to play in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking on behalf of the members of the Quality Assurance and Monitoring Committee, the Chairman, Dr. S. C. Madubuike thanked Management for the confidence placed in every one of them, and assured them that external influences would not affect their duties. He added that they would ensure that actions and activities that would water down the ethics and culture of the university would not be tolerated.
Members of management in attendance were the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joshua Ogunwole; the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Akande; the Acting Registrar, Mr Sunday Ilupeju and the University Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Humphrey Okereafor, who prayed for the grace to remain steadfast and committed in the discharge of their duties.
Dubbed as “the campus police,” the committee will monitor all university activities and ensure that high quality will be the common denominator for all services delivered. Other members of the committee are: Dr. O. G. Lala, Dr. A. O. Oguntunji, Dr. M. B. Ayetoro, Mr L. Asumu, Rev. K. Popoopla, Mr S. A. O. Adepoju, Mr D. A Alabi and Mr R. Adeniji.
The Marshal of the Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria (RA), Coun. Ayo Adekunle on the authority of the National Council of RA, and on behalf of the Men’s Missionary Union (MMU) of the Nigerian Baptist Convention conducted the investiture of Professor Joshua Ogunwole as the First Ambassador of Royal Ambassadors of Nigeria, Timothy Olagbemiro Chapter, Bowen University, yesterday at the University Worship Centre.
According to the Marshall, “this honour is reserved for men and women of the Baptist faith who are considered role models, whose lives can inspire the young ones for excellence and greatness in any field of endeavour. They are people who are willing to touch lives, impact the eternity of men and promote the kingdom for the singular purpose of populating God’s kingdom.”
The First Ambassador, Prof. Ogunwole in his acceptance speech, said being a Royal Ambassador, had been one of his childhood dreams and expressed his gratitude to God for making it come to pass, despite the fact that he had forgotten.
“I want to use this opportunity to tell you that there is power in prayer. God never forgets sincere prayers. Some of the things you pray for now can come to pass 30 years from now at God’s own appointed time. I want to thank the men and women that the Lord has used and it is my prayer that the good works of the Royal Ambassadors and the Lydia Auxiliary (LA) will continue to prosper to the glory of God’s name,” he said.
He also admonished all present, especially the members of the RA and LA, not to allow the various sacrifices that have been made to ensure their spiritual growth go to waste.
He added,”on behalf of Bowen University, we will be donating to the national body, the trophy for the marching competition from next year by the grace of God. Also, we are going to donate N 50,000 each to the national body, the Osun State chapter and the Timothy Olagbemiro chapter, as well as the Lydia Auxiliary.”