By Yakubu-Gowon Idris
The role of a teacher is to impart knowledge and by implication serve as a role model, mentor and intellectual reservoir that could engender socio-economic transformation of the society.
A good teacher can make a significant percentage of difference in a student’s life, from impacting knowledge in the four walls of a classroom and other skills that can guarantee their long-term success.
Experience has proven that good teachers are the single most important factor that contributes to a student’s achievements in the classroom, more important than facilities and other school resources. It is true that sometimes the life of a teacher is reflected in the success and good conduct of his students.
The foregoing epitomises the life of Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi, an erudite education administrator and professor of fisheries interested in aquaculture, freshwater fish culture, fish reproduction, hatchery management, fish population dynamics and fish parasitology. Prof Bichi is a well-rounded teacher. Beyond the four walls of classrooms, he is a role model and a caring father to his students. He is a man of honour, character and indelible legacies. Wherever he finds himself, he has always strived for honour, excellence and building a lasting legacy. That is exactly what Prof Bichi has brought to bear at the Federal University, Dutsima (FUDMA), Katsina state.
For the records, an ivory tower worth its name is not only measured by infrastructure but availability and abundance of quality manpower. Bichi is fully abreast of this fact and has, since his appointment as the substantive Vice Chancellor (VC) of FUDMA in 2020, thrown his hat into the ring, to ensure FUDMA is brought to the standard obtainable anywhere in the world. He has leveraged on his highly extended tentacles and influence to attract quality manpower to the university, both academic and non academic staff.
Having served twice as acting vice chancellor, deputy vice chancellor (academic), dean of a faculty, Bichi is well positioned to know where it pinches in the education sector. He understands the challenges and how best to deploy his vast experience to fix the needs of the university and Nigeria’s education sector at large. As one, who has been part of FUDMA from the beginning, his vast network outside the university with philanthropists, academics and the business community across the country, Bichi has attracted huge goodwill to FUDMA.
His efforts have paid off on several fronts with the relocation of most of the university’s activities to its permanent site from the take off campus. As a humane leader with milk of human kindness, Prof Bichi treats everyone in the school, both academic and nonacademic staff on merit and has assisted many to realise their God-given potential. Today, many lecturers of the institution are studying in different countries of the world on scholarship, facilitated by Prof Bichi.
The VC also made some professional courses available for students of the institution. In coming years, FUDMA will enhance its development and make it so relevant in the field of research and education development in the country. This, of course, will be a plus to Katsina state, North-west zone, and Nigeria at large.
No wonder some students on FUDMA campus whose views were sampled recently as to whether they would prefer going abroad or studying in Nigeria, affirmed their preference for studying at home, adding that they have no regret in their decision to make FUDMA their choice institution.
One of the challenges confronting many institutions of higher learning in Nigeria today is inadequate accommodation for students. But at FUDMA, the situation is different. All thanks to Almighty Allah that has empowered Prof Bichi to complete gigantic hostels for both the males and females.
Also, science and technology is the pivotal driver of the 21st century development strides. In order to position FUDMA to compete favourably with other institutions, Prof Bichi completed the faculties of engineering and medical sciences, despite meager resources. This is what judicious management of resources can do! Faculty of law and other projects are in progress. Prof Bichi is, indeed, a God sent to FUDMA.
Idris writes from Abuja