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Women You Should Know: Theresa Obumneme Okoli

Early life and Education

Tessy was born to the family of Aniagboso in Okpuifite village, Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State. She started her education at St. Augustine’s Primary School, Ogun State and continued at Girls Secondary School, Awgbu, Anambra State, from 1971–1984, where she obtained the West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE).

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She preceded to Anambra State College of Education (now, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State), where she was the best graduating student from the Department of Agricultural Education in 1988. She obtained her degree in Agricultural Education in 1990 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and also her master’s degree in 1995 from the same university. In 2011, she got her Doctorate degree from Enugu State University of Science and Technology.


On 3 March 1992, Tessy started her career with Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Education, she became a Principal Lecturer in 2007 and later Chief Lecturer on 1 October 2011. She served as the Dean, School of Agriculture and Home Economics Education, Dean, Students Affairs, Coordinator, Sandwich Programme, Coordinator, Continuing Education Programme (CEP), Head of Department, Agricultural Education. She is a member of many professional associations, such as Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), Nigeria Association of Teacher of Technology (NATT), Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Women in Colleges of Education (WICE) and Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). She is the National Secretary of the Association of Women in Colleges of Education (WICE). She is also the Chairman, Forum for African Women Educationalist of Nigeria (FAWEN), FCET Umunze Chapter.

Appointment as Provost

On 17 May 2018, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, appointed her as the 4th Substantive Provost of Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze to replace the Acting Provost of the college, Dr Cicilia Nonye Ibekwe, thus making her the first staff of the college to get to the career peak as Provost.

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The Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze is a Nigerian technical tertiary institution located in Umunze, Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. It is affiliated to Nnamdi Azikiwe University for its degree programmes. The Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze was established by Decree No. 4 of 14 March 1986 and fully started operation in November 1989. The Late Igwe of Umunze, Mathias Ugochukwu and the Igwe of Azia, Prof. T. I. Eze, who is also the pioneer Provost of the college, played a huge role in the establishment of the institution. At the beginning of the institution operation, it inherited buildings of All Saints Anglican Secondary School, Umunze and started with just 70 students (23 males and 47 females). The school, currently award PRE-NCE, NCE (Regular, CEP and Sandwich), Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Education certificates.

Awards and Honours

In 2019, she was honoured with a distinguished labour-friendly award by Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, (COEASU) and distinguished alumni award by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She was conferred with a chieftaincy title, Mma Chinyereugo of Orumba (Jewel from God) by the Orumba Traditional Rulers Council, Anambra State.


Adeyeye, Seun (24 May 2019). “President appoints new heads of agencies for Hospital, College of Education”. Pulse NG.


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Jeremiah Aluwong

Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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