In the last two months, Ika Nation has witnessed tremendous developments that could be described as welcoming. First is the commissioning of a multi billion naira Teachers’ Professional Development Centre by the Delta state Government at Owa Alero/Owa Oyibu in Ika Northeast Local Government Area of the State, a centre where, according to the State Government, teachers in the State will be trained on efficiency in presentation/ course evaluation and record-keeping strategies.
The second is the upgrade of the College of Education to a University status. The third and very fundamental is the appointment by the Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, of an illustrious Ika daughter, from Ekwuoma, Ika North East Local Government Area, in the person of Professor Stella Chinye Chiemeke, as the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the newly established University of Delta (UNIDEL), Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State.
These are all welcome developments.
However, as Ika nation celebrates these milestones, the Editorial board of Ika Weekly Newspaper, as part of its agenda setting role considers it imperative to celebrate, and as well remind the people of Ika nation of the need to recognise and possibly celebrate another illustrious, self contained and quietly influential son of Ika Land in the person of Chief Dr. Joseph Onyeisi Ukadike (KSM), the out-going Provost, College of Education, Agbor, Delta state.
There are reasons for the present call by the Editorial board of the Newspaper.
Aside from being an outstanding teacher who sees teaching as the most noble profession that affords practitioners the rare opportunity to play vital roles in the character building and overall development of members of any society while contributing to every other profession in the world such as; Medicine, Law, Engineering, Political Science, Accounting, Music, Carpentry among others, Ukadike in our estimation remains a good example of a clear thinker that culls thing down into the right points,
Take as an illustration, while the College of Education under him, trains National Certificate of Education (NCE) graduates within the same academic environment, he sort and got the National University Commission (NUC), accreditation of all the courses in the degree programme of the College. Today, to the admiration of all, the college offers Bachelor’s degree programmes in Education (B.Ed.), as an affiliate of Delta State University, Abraka.
This is unprecedented.
Stakeholders are in agreement that he redefined education in the college in ways and manner of a personality who believes that education is the bedrock of development. He built the leadership/administrative structure needed for sustained learning in an environment that works. He developed a workable master plan, and implemented integrated educational and infrastructural development of the college. He promoted education and empowered the youths in the area. Most importantly, he institutionalized financial transparency, accountability and prudent spending in the college..
Separate from these achievements, there is something striking about this great man of Ika nation.
He occupies an exalted position, yet finds it easy and convivial associating with the less privileged and the young people, particularly the students of the college. He has redefined leadership in the image of his character, vision, achievements as he sees students of the college as his children,
Going by commentaries, by allowing students unhindered access to his office, they (students) have through the process learned valuable lessons that the purpose of leadership is but to promote creativity. By his leadership models, they (students) have internalized the new awareness that the credibility of leadership can only be established through actions and not words.
At the national levels, Ukadike have also contributed considerably to the development of education in Nigeria through his inputs in the classroom over the years. He has been engaged in scholarly research works both at the local and international levels, delivering papers on contemporary socio-political and economic issues. As subsequent will reveal, he has a lot of publications to his credit, which include scholarly journals, books in both Nigeria and at the global level.
At his home town in Umunede, Ika North east Local Area, his contribution is equally observable. He has been instrumental to the admission of many Ika indigenes into, not only College of Education, Agbor but also into schools like the University of Benin, Benin-city, Delta State University, Abraka and other campuses of the school, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and other Universities where some of his friends are either lecturers or administrative staff.
It was in recognition of such efforts that prompted the Traditional Ruler of his home town, Umunede, His Royal Majesty, Agadagidi Ezeagwu Ezenwali I , to confer on him, the Chieftaincy title of the Oshodi of Umunede Kingdom, and made him a member of Obi in Council, the highest traditional ruling body in Umunede.
In view of the above superlative performances in his community, national level and most importantly in his present position as the Provost, the College of Education, Agbor, Ika Weekly Newspaper holds the views that; it will not be out of place if the State Government recognizes him and possibly assign him to a greater responsibility in the state as it will be considered unwise to allow his leadership sagacity to be redundant. After all, the reward for good work, they say, is more work’.
To help our readers understand his background, Dr. Ukadike, going by information at the public domain, hails from Umunede, Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta state. He started his teaching career in 1975 at Okpu Primary School, Ute-Okpu, Ika North-East Local Government Area. He was born on 5th June, 1957 at Umunede to late Chief J.I. Ukadike, the Oshodi of Umunede and late Mrs. Felicia Ukadike both from Umunede in Ika North East Local Government Area. He attended Sacred Heart Catholic School, now Dia Primary School, Umunede, from where he proceeded to St. Thomas College, Ibusa, and later to College of Education, Abraka between 1979 and 1982. from 1985-1988, he was at Bendel State University, Ekpoma where he got his first degree in Social Studies Education between 1981-1991, Dr. Ukadike was at University of Benin where he bagged an MSC degree in Social Studies Education. In 1997 he applied for his Phd in Social Studies Education, and got his doctorate degree in 2005.
He was employed into the College of Education, Agbor in 1993, and is currently the Dean, School of Arts and Social Studies. Before now, he has held many positions of high responsibilities in the College. He was head of Department (HOD) Social Studies (1997-1998), Assistant Director, Extra-mural Dept, (2001-2002), Chairman, Result Verification Committee (2002-2003), HOD, Social Studies (2003-2004), Chairman, Certificate Verification Committee, (2005- to date), Chairman, College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) (1995-1999) National Financial Secretary, (COEASU) (1997-1999), Chairman, Staff Welfare Committee of the Governing Council of College of Education, Agbor (2002-2003) Member, Governing Council, College of Education, Agbor, Member, Exam Mal-Practice Committee, Delta State University, Abraka in affiliation with College of Education, Agbor. Chief Dr. Joseph Onyeisi Ukadike is married with lovely children and has foot-ball, listening to music and dancing as his hobbies.
The following publications are to his credit; Introduction to The Teaching of Social Studies, Instructional Materials in Social Studies Education, Global Emphasis on Education in Schools which was published in Nigerian Journal of Social Studies, Citizenship Education. A Panacea for Nigeria’s Political and Social Problems, A Conceptual Analysis of the Meaning of Social Studies and its Objectives in Nigerian Schools, Historical Foundation of Social Studies Education, Population Education and its Relevance to the society; An Overview, in Agbor Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, The Role of Social Studies in Citizenship Development in Nigerian Schools, in Nigerian Journal of Citizenship Education. The Impact of Religion on Conflicts and Conflict Management in Nigeria; in Readings in Conflict Management and Peace Building in Africa amongst many other national and international publications.