Inauguration of the 2016/2017 Session: Philosophy Department Academic Award Presentations




 Your Excellency, Most Rev.Michael Elue,the Catholic Bishop of Isele-ukwu Diocese;

Our Very Rev. and dear Fr. Rector, Albert Ikpenwa;

My fellow formators;

Other members of staff – academic and non-academic;

Our beloved seminarians;

Distinguished guests;

Ladies and gentlemen;

You are all welcome to this occasion.

Today, with the inauguration act officially marks the beginning of 2016/2017 academic/formation year. I happily, on behalf of the staff and the students of Philosophy Department welcome our Guest of Honour, Most Rev. Michael Elue, my Lord, you are highly welcome.


I wish to in a very special way thank those who brought the 2015/2016 academic/formation year to a successful end through their selfless and relentless efforts. I thank firstly the Bishops of the Province for their love and care. I thank profoundly the Rector of this prestigious seminary, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Albert Ikpenwa for the great works going on in the seminary. I thank earnestly all the lecturers and formators of the department of Philosophy for their sacrifice and commitment to their duty. I thank also the departmental secretaries and the seminarian functionaries for their diligence. May God bless and reward you all abundantly.

A Retrospect on the 2015/2016 Academic and Formation Year

 We experienced so many challenges in the department during the just concluded academic/formation year. Bigard is an affiliate of The University of Ibadan; in addition to that of Pontifical Urban University Rome. Thus, our Philosophy students have the hope of double degrees enrichment, Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil) Rome and Bachelor of Arts (B.A) from the University of Ibadan. They also hope to be issued with NYSC exclusion letters which is very necessary for those who will further their education in Nigerian Universities. This enables them to be very well poised to encounter the complex society of today’s world whether as priests or members of the laity. Of course, we are not in any way relegating the role of Philosophy in preparing the candidates for Theological studies. However, like every other Nigerian Tertiary Institution, we now have a number of issues to settle with National Universities Commission (NUC), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Some of our external lecturers discontinued to render their services, though new ones have been employed. Moreover, all nuts are being tightened to ensure that Bigard continues to be an institution of excellence in training of candidates for the Catholic priesthood.

We have gathered today to honour and rejoice with those who have performed excellently during the 2015/2016academic session, by awarding them prizes. May I, at this juncture remind those who narrowly missed the target to begin today to work hard, for a stitch in times saves nine. May today’s prize winners be source of motivation and encouragement for you.

As I congratulate the prize winners, I must again thank all our lecturers and formators for their commitment and hard work. The number of students in the department has continued to increase and my revered colleagues have continued to bear the burden of the number with humility and spirit of sacrifice. Thanks a million times!

Analysis of Academic Performance

Students of the department did very well in the just concluded 2015/2016 academic session. However, a comparative summary of the first and second semesters of the session under review shows that the students relatively performed better in the second semester.

A look at the two semesters shows that in the first semester, for the 100 level students, out of 127 candidates, 119 passed all courses (i.e 93.7%); 8 (i.e 6.3%) failed at least one course, None (i.e 0%) failed more than one and there were 8 carry-overs. In the second semester for the same 100 level, 107 (i.e 86.3%) passed all courses, 17 (i.e 13.7%) failed at least one, while the number of those that failed more than one increased from 0 to 6 (i.e4.8%), and the total number of carry-overs consequently increased from 8 to 24.

For the 200 level, out of 96 students, 74 (i.e 77.1%) passed all courses in the first semester (80 in the second semester, i.e 85.1%); 22 (i.e 22.9%) failed at least one in the first semester, while in the second semester 14 (i.e 14.9%) failed at least one; in the first semester, 8 (i.e8.3%) failed more than one, as against 4 (i.e 4.3%) that failed more than one in the second semester; total number of carry-overs decreased from 36 in the first semester to 23 in the second semester.

For the 300 level, out of 85 candidates, 69 (i.e 81.2%) passed all courses in the first semester, while in the second semester 81 (i.e 96.4%) passed all courses; 16 (i.e 18.8%) failed at least one course (4 i.e 4.7% in the second semester); in the first semester 4 (i.e 4.3%) failed more than one course, as against 1 (i.e 1.2%) in the second semester; and the total number of carry-overs decreased from 23 in the first semester to 6 in the second semester.


As has been the tradition at the inauguration of each new academic year, permit me, my Lord, to present you the following candidates who have distinguished themselves for prize- giving;


Name of Candidate Total Average Position
Obi Augustine O. 1278 75.18 3rd
Nwankwo Valentine 1300 76.47 2nd
Egbosimba Jeremiah 1336 78.59 1st


Name of Candidate Total Average Position
Okonkwo Charles 1391.5 73.21 3rd
Ojukwu Clement 1412 74.32 2nd
Ogbuigbo James 1434 75.47 1st
Ejike Valentine 1434 75.47 1st


Name of Candidate Total Average Position
Asogwa Humphrey O. 1203 70.76 3rd
Nweke Daniel U. 1208 71.06 2nd
Ogbu Paschal 1225 72.06 1st


As I rejoice today with all who have received prizes, I once more remember all who have contributed in one way or another to their success. I remain grateful to the staff and students and also benefactors and benefactresses. I thank all of you for being here today to celebrate and rejoice with us. I urge all you philosophers and even theologians to keep the light shining. Do not forget that proper education will help to prepare you well for the Catholic priesthood because half-baked knowledge combined with bigotry is dangerous for the Church. The study of philosophy will help immensely to wear away ignorance and get you prepared for the future.

Once more, dear good friends, thanks for being here with us today. May the Good Lord shower on you His blessings on your way back. And to Him be the glory and praise forever and always, Amen.

Rev. Fr. Vitalis Ukwuaba

H.O.D. Philosophy, Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu.

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