Thursday 19 December 2019

Mountain Top University Graduates 22 first-class at First convocation

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As Mountain Top University (MTU), Mowe Ogun State prepares to host the academic community tomorrow during its first convocation ceremony, it will be proud to present to the world 22 students who graduate with First-class, among other great achievements, writes EDOZIE UDEZE

Dr D.K Olukoya and the Governor of Lagos State ( Babajide Sanwo-Olu)

Mountain Top University (MTU), Mowe, Ogun State, in four years, has attained feats others need decades to achieve.

Tomorrow, the university will hold its first convocation ceremony.  The ceremony will be an apt moment for visitors to tour the premises of the university and see a uniquely planned  environment conducive  for teaching and learning.

Vice-Chancellor, Mountain Top University Prof. Elijah Ayolabi

Its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, said:  “This is an opportunity for us to tell our story.  And our story is that of success, excellence and honour garnished with God’s grace and help.  Therefore, I am delighted as the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of this great citadel of learning to celebrate our first set of graduates.”

Ayolabi, who linked the school’s successes to the great vision of its founder, Dr. Daniel Olukoya, noted that this humble journey of four years “has produced fruits, the first fruits.  In fact, we will be hosting the world and the academic community tomorrow.  It will be a rare and remarkable moment to intimate members of the public about our strides so far.

“Without sounding immodest, I will leave our trumpets to be blown by others on our behalf with regard to our standing in the scheme of things in the Nigerian university system.

This is so because I firmly believe in the principle of success speaking for itself.  The Bible notes in Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven”.

On why private universities had become necessary in the history of Nigeria’s education system, Ayolabi noted that “over the years, Nigeria’s education system had been left to totter and deteriorate.  Most parents lost hope in the system and therefore began to seek avenues for their children’s education.

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“Regrettably, the university environment became a place for deviant youths who continually embrace bad behaviours, indulging in despicable acts such as cultism, prostitution and drug addiction.”

Pointing out that while the rot continues, some men with vision decided to muster resources to establish sane, clean and sound education institutions to train and show the young ones the true path to follow.

“Now worsened by the incessant strike actions by the academic and non-academic members of staff in public universities, we felt the urgent need to fill the yawning gap.  We needed to stem the situation in which parents send their children and wards to Togo, Benin Republic, Ghana; the Gambia and even as far as Uganda for university education.  We also needed to encourage parents to regain their hopes in the country’s education system.

“At present the Mountain Top University personifies the kind of university that many Nigerians have always longed for in terms of quality education, morals, professionalism and students’ excellent disposition.   This is why this environment is a true proof of our seriousness and commitment towards tertiary education.”

Established and run by the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), the Mountain Top University is located on the mountainous landscape of Mowe neighbourhood on the Ibadan-Lagos Expressway.

The first alluring beauty that strikes a first-time visitor to the campus is a lake which is located within a few meters from the entrance gate.

Surrounded by well-trimmed and cultivated flowers, grasses and shrubs, the lake exudes some air of love, romance and attraction.  Thus, it makes encourages any student who is a book worm to become more avid readers. It is not just cozy, its aura and naturalness are equally rapturous so much so that it evokes a sense of nostalgia.

Usually, birds of diverse plumage perch on the trees in the surrounding environment as if they are gathered to sing lullabies. Their presence calm troubled nerves mend broken hearts and add to the overall aesthetic ambiance of the academic community.

“It is there to help the students and lecturers to appreciate the gift of nature, beauty and love in an academic environment”, the Vice-Chancellor noted.

The school is not only a faith-based university. The journey for the establishment of the university began on August 3, 2003.  This was the year Dr. Olukoya was inspired to embark on the first leg of this journey.

That year, he surmounted all odds to put the dream in perspective.  But in March, 2015, the Federal Government gave its approval for the university to commence academic operations. At inception, therefore, the university began with only two colleges; namely the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and College of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences.

“This was with 15 programmes only.

“These courses were fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).  At present, the school is graduating 120 students, with 22 of them graduating with First-Class.  In fact, the best graduate has 5.0 GPA,” Ayolabi explained.

From two colleges, the university has more colleges and more other courses introduced. Those courses are not readily available in other universities in the country.

“We offer Bachelors of Science Degree in Securities and Investments.  This is also approved by the NUC.  We are the first to run such a programme in Nigeria.  For now, we have made it possible to produce excellence in the liberal traditions for the production of top rate, morally sound graduates of distinctions. These people will globally compete for outstanding impact on the Nigerian societal and global developments,” he said.

The school management  provided modern facilities for the students to achieve their utmost best.  Inside the conference room, for instance, are modern gadgets to facilitate communication.  They are equipped to translate languages.  So also are the lecture rooms which have updated modern electronic gadgets for students and lecturers.

“We do these to train and produce men and women in various academic, professional and vocational disciplines in an atmosphere that will enhance the simultaneous development of their spiritual, mental and physical faculties.  This will help to produce morally upright and academically sound graduates with specialised skills and value systems.  People, who will be independent, are in leadership, academic, public and industrial sectors of their communities, the Nigerian society and, indeed, the global community at large”.

The well-trimmed lawns, gardens and flowers aid this development.

“This helps us also to recreate and produce the serenity suitable for studies. Even the student hostels look too good to be true.  Patterned in forms of 5-Star hotels with all the modern faculties to go with them, it is really difficult to believe that they were built to house undergraduates.

“We also guide, guard and direct our students on the paths to success and greatness.  They have all they need to read to have first-class in all areas of discipline.  Even here first-class is not easy to come by, yet the students have quite enough materials to be the best they can be”, Ayolabi explained.

There is also constant supply of electricity.  In fact, in 2017, the university emerged the second best university in the first ever National Universities Commission Open Educational Resources (NUCOER) ranking for Nigerian universities.

“We, therefore, ensure we employ sound and well qualified members of staff to engage the students,” he said.

It is instructive to note that it is mandatory for every student to learn how to play one or two musical instruments not only as a hobby but also as a means to help the student to see what to fall back on if he or she did not secure a job on time.  “This helps to keep the students busy”.

It is expected that the Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu will deliver the convocation lecture entitled “Future of Job and World of Work: The Need for Graduates that are Globally Competitive.

“This lecture will further situate issues of job hunt, job creation and resilience that go with it for our youths”, the V-C said.

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