PERSONALITY OF THE WEEK
TEACHING: A NOBLE PROFESSION- DR J.O. UKADIKE (KSM)
AGBOR (Ika Weekly) – Teaching has been described as the most noble profession in the world because it affords practitioners the rare opportunity to play vital roles in the character building and overall development of members of any society. It is the only profession that gives one the chance to contribute to every other profession in the world, be it Medicine, Law, Engineering, Political Science, Accounting, Music, Capentary and many others.
The above assertion was made by Chief Dr. Joseph Onyeisi Ukadike (KSM) Dean, School of Arts and Social Studies, College of Education, Agbor on Friday in a “personality of the week” interview with Ika Weekly in his office. Dr. Ukadike argued that there is no other profession that can be compared with teaching. He disclosed that he opted early in his life for the teaching profession because of his love for mankind, noting that , that is the only way one can affect peopleâ€™s lives directly. He encouraged his fellow teachers, whether at the primary, secondary or tertiary levels to see and regard their callings as divine-induced, because according to him, “God is interested in those who give their time and resources to the proper moulding of childrenâ€™s character, especially at the formative years.
Dr. Ukadike disclosed that he has contributed significantly to the development of education in Nigeria through his inputs in the classroom over the years. He also revealed that he has been engaged in scholarly research works both at the local and international levels, delivering papers on contemporary socio-political and economic issues. He said he has a lot of publications to his credit, which include scholarly journals in both Nigeria and at the global level, adding that he has written quite a number of books in the area of social studies and education.
He stated that he has been invited on several occasions to national programmes to give lectures on issues concerning curriculum renovation and improvement. He also disclosed that recently he was among some education experts invited to Abuja by the Federal Government to conceptualize and develop curriculum on Civic Education. He is also part of the National Teachers Institutes (NTI) programmes as one of the resource persons, giving lectures and being part of those training the students. According to him, he is the centre manager of NTI in Ika zone, recruiting teachers to teach the students.
Dr. Ukadike whose interest and love for the teaching profession was apparent from the glee he manifested as he talked about teaching and education, disagreed completely, when asked to comment, that the standard of education has fallen. He pointed out that what is wrong is the system in which education operates in Nigeria.
He however agreed that something is structurally wrong with the system, pointing out that, the realization of that defect gave birth to the idea which has gained ground in many higher institutions of learning in the country, which is the post UME examination.
Dr. Ukadike stated that it was College of Education, Agbor that first introduced the concept as a way of curbing the admission of unqualified candidates into the college. He noted with satisfaction that it has helped in sanitizing the admission process and the final products of the school.
He was full of praise for the Provost of College of Education, Agbor, Dr. Emmanuel U. Tibi, when he said he has done so much in enhancing the physical and academic development of the school.
Dr. Ukadike said his satisfaction with the provostâ€™s style of administration and his zeal in seeing to the physical development of the school has led to his adopting him as his role model, especially when he is one of his mentors. He thanked the provost, Dr. Tibi and other principal officers of the school, including the deputy provost, Dr. D.D. Whawo for the great achievements the college has experienced in the last few years.
He commended his collegues for sticking to the laid down standard of awarding marks without compromise, adding that students who have passed through the school are projecting the good image of the school for giving them the enabling environment, which has seen a lot of the college lecturers acquiring their higher degrees especially the doctorates in relevant areas of study. He said that the efforts of the provost has translated to a higher rating and approval of the College of Education, Agbor, pointing out that commendations have come from different quarters, extolling the performance of students of the school.
Dr. Ukadike who is the Oshodi of Umunede Kingdom, in response to a question on his contribution to Ika nation revealed that 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.
He disclosed that his involvement in community development in his home town, Umunede, led to the conferment of the Chieftancy title of the Oshodi of Umunede Kingdom by the traditional ruler of the town, His Royal Majesty, Agadagidi Ezeagwu Ezenwali I, and made him a member of Obi in Council, the highest traditional ruling body in Umunede.
Dr. Ukadike praised the appointment of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as Secretary to the State Government and that of the Queen Mother, Hon. Queen Victoria Ikenchukwu, Ojeba of Agbor as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Community Development and Hon. Chief Lawrence Osiegbu as Commissioner for Environment, and thanked the governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for the recognition. He advised the public office holders to help improve the level of socio-economic development in Ika land. He also lauded the role of Dr. Okowa in bringing Ika nation to the lime-light and urged him to continue to do more for the people, as he prayed that God will continue to uplift him.
The erudite scholar called on Ika traditional rulers to come together and create a forum where they can be meeting, not only to compare notes but to also brainstorm on how to move Ika nation forward in terms of socio-economic development.
Dr. Ukadike who started his teaching career in 1975 at Okpu Primary School, Ute-Okpu, Ika North-East Local Government Area 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. Thomasâ€™ College, Ibusa, and later to College of Education, Abraka between 1979-1982. 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 degree in 2005.
Dr. Ukadike 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 Educationn 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 affliation 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 Nigeriaâ€™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 Nigeria 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.