Degree programmes: Colleges of Education to de-affiliate from universities - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Degree programmes: Colleges of Education to de-affiliate from universities

Strong indications have that the nation's Colleges of Education may soon de-affiliate themselves from engaging in degree programmes in universities across the country.

Therefore, leaders of academic staff union in the colleges have agreed to set a 2024 deadline for actualization of the proposal.

The national leadership of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, the umbrella body of lecturers of the nation's colleges of education is expected to submit the proposal to the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE.

Stakeholders in the nation's colleges of education who spoke variously at COEASU Symposium in Honour of former President, Remi Makinde, all advocated automomy of Colleges from Universities.

They said Colleges of Education, especially federal government established colleges have come of age  and have the necessary infrastructure, personnel and other degree awarding requirements to run bachelor degree programmes.

Former Provost of Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo and Chairman, Governing Council of the Federal College of Education, Obudu, Prof. Taoreed Adedoja, while speaking, challenged Colleges of Education to set deadline for de-affiliation from universities.

"I want us to set a date for ourselves, for de-affiliation to universities in Nigeria . We must set a date for ourselves,that by the year 2024, no college of education should be affiliated to universities. You must set the deadline yourselves.

"Evidence has shown that you are being surcharged by the nation's universities,all the money being collected from the research that you have made,75 percent of all your fees go to universities, only 25 percent are retained,"the former Minister of Sports and Special Duties who was the Guest Speaker at the event,said.

Also speaking, Chairman of the occasion and former Provost of the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Prof. Kunle Filani, noted that most of the Colleges of Education run, programmes similar to the universities, hence the need to set deadline for de-affiliation and subsequently submit to the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCC, for action.

Noting that Colleges of Education are making progress in Nigeria, he said "it may look slow but steady and I'm happy about it."

He said:"There is  increase in the number and the scope to colleges of education we have today compared to some 40 years back which is good. This has increased the number of access to people who could study in the colleges of education and become teachers.

The infrastructure of our colleagues especially that of the federal colleges have tremendously improved. If you go to the federal colleges today, you cannot say that they are not capable of awarding degrees today. They are beautiful in structures,we accommodate more students and the environment is friendly unlike before. That is the major progress we are making.

"Secondly,in terms of staffing,those days, because of limited number of students that had access to schooling,we had few staff ,we even had few staff who had bachelor degrees but today,the personnel, especially that of academic staff demonstrated capacities in scholarships. I am very happy that today,hardly can you go to federal colleges of education without seeing 15 percent of their academic staff who have already had their PhDs.

"The reality of this is that it boosts the image and ego of staff to at least share similar prospects with their university counterparts."

He regretted that appointment of provosts to federal and state established colleges were mostly from universities, saying such actions were demotivating academic staff of colleges of education.

This was even as he advocated increment of retirement years of college teachers from 65 years to 70 years, adding that academic staff who were not tired should not be forcefully retired.

He spoke further:"Those days,appointments of provosts in colleges of education, especially from the federal and state levels were always dominated by people from the universities. I'm not advocating that people from the universities should not realize their ambitions but it demotivates tnose who are in the system if they cannot rise to the height of their career.

"Even if you are going to be a provost,it must be that you must have been in the college of education and a member of COEASU before moving to the university. This will motivates others,the staff in the system to work towards their career attainment.

"Now,the Issue of retirement is 65 years,it used to be 60. I still believe that we can still work it to 70 for those who are interested. There should be parity with the university because it's an intellectual and mental formation. If you are not tired,why should you be forced to retire?"

The event was a culmination of a two-day workshop,with a theme: "Leadership Skills Development for Effective Industrial Relations in the College of Education System", organised by COEASU in conjunction with the Committee of Provosts In Nigeria. It is aimed at equipping members to have greater capacity to deal with issues of industrial concern and ensure peace on campuses.

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