Tessy Okoli, PhD, is the Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze, Anambra State in Nigeria. She oversees a teacher training institution, a fast-growing institution with special focus on Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) covering entire South-East Nigeria. Established in 1986 by the Federal Government, the College has the mandate of training competent skilled and technically-oriented manpower resources that would be utilized in primary and secondary schools across states in Nigeria.
The National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme offered in the College has produced thousands of graduates that are replicating their skills across schools in Nigeria. In addition to the NCE programme, the College offers a Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) as a top-up programme for teachers. To accommodate the increasing demand for admission into university by Nigerian students, the College commenced degree programme in 2012, in affiliation with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Dr Okoli was appointed the Provost by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 17, 2018. Before her appointment, she spent over 26 years as a lecturer in the College, where she served as the Dean, School of Agriculture & Home Economics Education, Dean, Students Affairs, Coordinator, Continuing Education Programme (CEP), Head of Department, Agricultural Education, among other academic leadership positions. She provided strong academic leadership in the College at various times and became a rallying point among her colleagues.
Dr Okoli was appointed in the year 2016 as Consultant on Capacity Building in the Fadama III World Bank Assisted Project where 250 agricultural entrepreneurs were trained in the Graduate Unemployment Youths Scheme (FADAMA GUYS). The project targeted training 6000 youths in agricultural enterprises across states in Nigeria. She also served as a Resource Person in Special Modular Agricultural Science Workshop for the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN).
Dr Okoli is currently the National Secretary of Association of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE), a formidable union pushing for equal access of women to education in Nigeria. She is also the Chairman, Forum for African Women Educationalist of Nigeria (FAWEN), FCE(T) Umunze Chapter, an organisation that champions literacy campaign among Nigerian women and vulnerable groups.
A highly resourceful scholar, she was the best graduating student at the Department of Agric Education, Anambra State College of Education. She further graduated from the Faculty of Vocational and Technical Education, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), with a degree in Agric Education. She later obtained her M.Ed from the same university and bagged PhD from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).
Dr Okoli, a strong advocate of women education and empowerment, joined the Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze on March 3, 1992, as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Education. She rose through the ranks to become a Principal Lecturer in 2007 and later Chief Lecturer, an equivalent of Associate Professor in the university system, on October 1, 2011.
The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) conferred a distinguished alumni award on Dr Okoli recently in recognition of her remarkable contribution in promoting Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the country. She has over 60 publications in reputable academic journals, as well as several chapter contributions in books and research papers presented at reputable local and international conferences.
Lucubrate Magazine August 2019
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