The Committee of Provosts (COP) of Colleges of Education in Nigeria has called for an immediate restructuring in colleges of education across the country to make them more relevant in the 21st century teacher education.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued by the committee at the end of its 76th regular meeting held recently at the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Abuja. The communiqué was signed by the Chairman, Communiqué Drafting Committee, Prof. Emmanuel Ojeme.
The group said there is an urgent need to restructure and review the content and admission policy of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), as the current admission policy does not favour colleges of education. It also stressed the need for government at all levels to create more incentive for those opting for teaching.
According to the COP, given the advancement in education in the country, colleges of education must be more innovative in profession and practice for their survival and relevance in the society and for that to happen there must be incentives to qualified teachers.
The committee also called for a review of the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) to make it more manageable to enhance productivity and to increase relevance to Nigerians.
It also called for more efforts among colleges of education to increase NCE students’ enrollment in the country’s education sector, saying that all institutions in the country must remain within the boundaries of their core mandate and stop encroaching on others.
The COP cited the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) as one of such institutions encroaching on others, saying that NTI should limit itself to organising workshops, seminars and conferences and stop engaging in distance learning in NCE and degree programmes, which it is not equipped to run.
To boost the teaching profession, the body called on government at all levels to introduce special incentive for teacher education, to attract high performing students to teach and to remain in the profession.
It called for the professionalisation of the teaching profession with enhanced salary structure to attract those with cognate teaching qualifications. It also urged employers to always employ qualified teachers to teach in their schools.
The COP faulted the current Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), which it said was designed without the interest of students’ choice of NCE courses.
“There is need to review the UMTE to detach colleges of education from the process because it is a disadvantage for students who want to study education courses in the country. We recommend the return of old teacher training college to form a feeder to colleges of education, while the NCE programme should be structured to a full two years programme and another two years leading to the award of B.Ed. degree. Colleges of education in the country should be made to become B.Ed degree awarding institutions.”
To achieve some of the positions it canvassed, the COP said the law establishing the NCCE in Nigeria should be reviewed to become a National Commission for Tertiary Education (NCTE) so as to enhance its capacity to oversee the proposed new status of colleges of education as B.Ed awarding institutions.
To achieve the objective of leapfrogging colleges of education to a greater height in the country, provosts identified the need to lobby policy makers and leaders to influence the desired changed in Nigerian colleges of education in the 21st century and beyond.