The Executive Secretary of the National Commission on Colleges of Education (NCCE), Professor Paulinus Okwelle, has expressed concern about the wind of conversation from colleges of education to universities by governors of some states in the Federation.
Okwelle, who spoke on Wednesday in Abuja during the presentation of his welcome speech at a two-day national summit on the future of the Nigeria Certificate in Education, noted that the development of unverified would lead to the extinction of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), which is the minimum teaching qualification provided by the national education policy.
He noted that a few state governments, including Sokoto, have recently converted their colleges of education into universities of education without informing the NCCE as the supervisory body on how to graduate students enrolled in NCE programs before the conversion.
He said: “Another challenge to the existence of the NCE program is the wave of conversion of colleges of education into universities without recourse to the provisions of the national education policy which stipulates that the NCE is the minimum qualification for education in the country.
He revealed that at the federal level, bills have been passed in the National Assembly for some federal colleges of education to be converted into universities, stressing that this development needs to be reviewed to prevent the NCEs from disappearing, creating thus negative consequences. for the entire education sector.
“The parameters and criteria for the conversion of any tertiary institution in Nigeria should be well defined and mutually agreed upon by the relevant stakeholders.
“As is the practice in other climates, the law establishing colleges of education could be amended to allow mature colleges to operate on a dual mode; offering the NCE curriculum and a degree in specific courses that they have the capabilities to perform. This issue deserves consideration at this crucial time,” he said.
He also denounced the circumstances in which some owners of colleges of education have been found in violation of the criteria for appointing principal directors, especially in public and private colleges of education, by appointing unqualified persons as principal directors of their establishments.
He insisted that there were established cases of non-educators being appointed provosts of public and private colleges of education in the country, saying this did not bode well for the image of these institutions and the country as a whole.
“This summit is asked to propose a framework that will promote the appointment of only qualified educators to head colleges to provide the necessary leadership in all NCE awarding institutions (federal, state and private),” said Okwelle.
Education Minister Malam Adamu Adamu, who declared the summit open, instructed the event’s stakeholders, including senior academics, teacher trainers, experienced education administrators and representatives of other sister agencies in the education sector, to reflect and chart a course that will restore the NCE to its enviable past glory days.
“I am confident that if we seize this opportunity to get it right with the RCE, our collective resolve to reposition and strengthen the quality of education in the country would be achieved by keeping in mind that the RCE is a pillar solid for the basic level of education,” said Adamu.
The minister who was represented by the director overseeing the office of the permanent secretary, Mr. David Gende, noted that when effective and qualified teachers are adequately prepared in teacher training institutions, there would be an assurance of having teachers competent in classrooms at the Basic Education Level.
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