NCCE Boss Frowns At Conversion Of Colleges Of Education To Universities - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

NCCE Boss Frowns At Conversion Of Colleges Of Education To Universities

ABUJA - The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Professor Paulinus Okwelle has expressed concerns about the gale of conversation of Colleges of Education to Universities by Governors of some states in the Federation.

Okwelle who spoke on Wednesday in Abuja while presenting his welcome address at a two-day National Summit on the future of Nigeria Certificate in Education noted that the development of not checked would lead to the extinction of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), which is the minimum teaching qualification as provided by the National Policy on Education.

He noted that a few State Governments including Sokoto recently converted their Colleges of Education to Universities of Education without informing NCCE as a supervisory body on how to graduate those students enrolled into NCE programmes before the conversion.

He said: “Another challenge to the existence of NCE Programme is spate at which Colleges of Education are being converted to Universities without recourse to the provisions of the National Policy on Education which stipulates NCE as the minimum teaching qualification in the country”.

He disclosed that at the Federal level, there have been Bills being passed at the National Assembly for a few Federal Colleges of Education to be converted into Universities, stressing that this development needs to be revisited to avoid NCE from going into extinction thereby creating negative consequences for the whole Education Sector.

“Parameters and criteria for conversion of any tertiary institutions in Nigeria need to be well spelt out and commonly agreed upon by relevant stakeholders.

“As practice in other climes, the law establishing Colleges of Education could be amended to allow mature ones to operate on a dual-mode; offering NCE Programme and a degree in specific courses they have the capacities to run. This issue is worth considering at this crucial moment,” he said.

He also decried the circumstances where some Proprietors of Colleges of Education have been found violating the criteria for the appointment of Principal Officers, especially in State and private Colleges of Education, by appointing unqualified persons as principal officers of their institutions.

He insisted that there were established cases of non-educationists being appointed as Provosts of State and Private Colleges of Education in the country, saying this does not augur well for the image of those institutions and the country as a whole.

“This summit is hereby requested to come up with a framework that will promote the appointment of only qualified Educationists to head the colleges so as to provide needed leadership in all NCE awarding Institutions (Federal, States and Private),” Okwelle said.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who declared the summit open, tasked stakeholders at the event including seasoned scholars, teacher educators, experienced education administrators, and representatives from other sister agencies in the Education Sector to brainstorm and chart a way that will reinstate NCE to its past enviable old days of glory.

“It is my conviction that if we seize this opportunity to get it right with NCE, our collective resolve of repositioning and strengthening the quality of education in the country would be achieved bearing in mind that NCE is a strong pillar for the basic education level,” Adamu said.

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 the Teacher Education Institutions, there would be an assurance of having skillful teachers in the classrooms at the Basic Education level.

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