Upgrade FCET Umunze to Varsity, Provost Tells Reps Committee

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The Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Anambra State, Prof Josephat Ogbuagu has appealed to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to consider the elevation of the college to a university of education (technical).

He said the college has run 13 degree programmes successfully for the past six years in affiliation with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Ogbuagu stated this while addressing the members led by the Chairman, Hon Aminu Suleiman, who visited the college as part of their oversight function. The lawmakers also visited the Federal Polytechnic, Oko and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Other members of the committee that visited the college include: Dr. Enitan Baoru, representing Lagos Island I; Hon Muazu Lawal (Zamfara); Hon Ben Nwankwo (Anambra); Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Malle (Taraba); Hon Stella Ngwu (Enugu), among others.

Highlighting the challenges facing the institution, Ogbuagu said the college commenced academic activities in 1990 without any take-off grant. He urged the lawmakers to revisit the non-release of the take-off grant, adding that inadequate fund has hindered the rapid development of the institution.

While calling for more allocation to the college, he said the recurring shortfall in funds has made it difficult to meet its financial obligations.

The provost said the college has defied all challenges to gain full accreditation for all its NCE programmes, as well as the Professional

Diploma in Education of the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN). He said the institution now runs 13 degree programmes fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC), in affiliation with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

Ogbuagu, who is also the Chairman, Committee of Provosts of Federal Colleges of Education, further explained that FCET Umunze has successfully run the degree programme without hitches for the past six years, and appealed to the committee members to upgrade the institution to a full-fledged university of education (technical), the first of its kind in the south-east geopolitical zone.

While commending the provost, Suleiman said the visit provided a good platform to interact with the administrators of academic institutions, thereby obtaining insightful ideas that would improve teaching and learning.

He explained that the committee had on September 14 written to the institutions informing them of the visit and requested for a detailed report of the 2016 budget; the performance of the 2017 budget; the performance of the IGR and expenditures; the nominal role of staff providing detailed information on names, state, local government area of origin; and date of employment.

He stressed that the committee members were not on a jamboree, but on a serious business geared towards obtaining the true pictures of the activities of these institutions and addressing their critical challenges based on the objective report of their assessment.

“After this budget of 2017, we had a very serious discussion with the presidency and the directive was that we should visit all the institutions to obtain an updated report of the problem of each institution. It will be a disservice if the institution provides half-report to the committee.”