By Joseph Obukata, Warri
The new rector of Delta State Polytechnic Otefe-Oghara, Prof. Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri, has given graphic details of how he intends to develop instruction in his five years at the institution.
Ufuophu-Biri spoke the weekend after his official welcoming ceremony as the institution’s new Rector at the Chief James Onanefe Ibori Auditorium, Otefe-Oghara, Delta State.
The rector who assumed the mantle of leadership a few days ago after the expiration of the former rector’s term, Professor Emmanuel Apoyi-Ogujor, said his administration will be based on the well-being of students and staff.
“I will be meeting with different agencies within the institutions so that we can interact about the well-being of staff and students.
“A well-motivated staff is more active at work and will lead to better productivity. I want staff who interact with the international community.
“Why do you think they say that some schools are the best or that they are better than others? They are considered the best, for the quality of the staff they have.
“When you don’t have good staff, you can’t have better students. Therefore, students should always view staff as father and mother figures.
Ufuophu-Biri, who was a professor of mass communication and journalism at Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, said he will leverage his contacts as a pioneer fellow and alumnus of Brown University, International Advanced Research Institute (BIATI) Providence Rhode Island, USA, to raise the standard of the institution internationally as a political impetus.
He said ICT training for students and staff would be taken seriously while discipline between students and staff would be enforced.
“I am going to discuss with the dean of students to take some students out of the country from time to time to see how things are done outside the country.”
Speaking about how he intends to impose discipline, Ufuophu-Biri said that no student will be expelled and no staff member will be fired as it tends to improve the mutual relationship between staff and students.
On motivating staff in self-development and giving promotion in a timely manner, he said that motivated staff are more effective in getting the job done and producing good results.
Although he said his tenure will not see the frustration of any student, he nevertheless said the discipline will be taken seriously and in great measure.
‘We will take discipline very seriously. By the Grace of God, no student will be expelled or suspended. What I mean by that is that all students will respect the rules; because if you don’t follow the rules, the rules apply.
‘No staff will be fired, reprimanded or fired. I want to see more teachers promoted. Once you are entitled to the promotion, you will be promoted. We are not here to take away your bread, ”he reiterated.
Prof. Ufuophu-Biri urged teachers to strive to give students the utmost attention they deserve, positing that the foundation of any institution is based on the existence of students.
‘Teachers should not yell at students; that was what he maintained as Vice Dean of Students and Head of Department. When you travel outside of this country or run a private university, you’ll know how important students are.
‘When the government says it can’t pay the salaries and you have to make your money yourself, that’s when you’ll know that the more students you have, the more money you’ll make.
‘If a student does something wrong, try to understand the psychology of that student. Has he paid fees, is he hungry, is he under the influence of drugs, try to check his psychological balance.
‘Because respect is mutual and reciprocal, students and staff should do well to respect each other. As a student, a staff is yelling at you for social responsibility. It is believed that if you know what is right, you will do what is right.
‘A staff that sees you doing things wrong and refuses to correct you will lead you into darkness.
‘The staff has the right to reprimand and correct you. Students, you must respect yourselves. Correction is like a surgical operation, sometimes it is better to do it in secret.
‘And also student, if a teacher walks into the class and made a mistake, don’t make fun of him or laugh at him. Once there is mutual understanding between students and teachers, there will be peace. Without your teachers you don’t exist’, he postulated.