As part of efforts to increase teacher education in Nigeria, the federal government has granted provisional approval to four new private colleges of education to commence operation.
The colleges are Oswald Waller College of Education, Shendam, Plateau State; Pan African College of Education, Offa, Kwara State; Diamond College of Education, Aba, Abia State and Bilyaminu College of Education, Dass, Bauchi State.
Speaking while presenting accreditation certificates to the successful colleges of education over the weekend, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof Monday Joshua, said all the newly approved colleges met minimum standards and requirements set by the commission.
He said that the ongoing programme of accreditation of colleges of education in the country was on course, adding that 11 colleges had so far scaled the commission’s accreditation hurdle and were accordingly issued with accreditation certificates.
He recalled that when he assumed office, one year ago, as executive secretary of NCCE, one of the greatest challenges in the system was that a lot of programmes in the NCE-awarding institutions were unaccredited for about a decade.
Joshua, who noted that there was no way the quality of teachers produced by the colleges could be improved with strict regulatory oversight, added that programmes and institutional accreditation were a core mandate of the commission as part of quality assurance.
He, however, disclosed that out of the 12 colleges of education visited for the accreditation so far, one of the institutions has been closed down by the commission for having obtained previously denied accreditation in nine programmes run by the college.
He explained that the affected college was running 10 programmes and unfortunately, only one of the programmes obtained Interim Accreditation, saying the institution lacked basic teaching and learning infrastructure as well as qualified teachers to teach the programmes it claimed to have offered.
He said based on this dismal report by the Accreditation Panel to the College, the management of the commission had to close down the institution while arrangement was made to transfer the students to other colleges.
Joshua, also disclosed that a total of 64, 432 backlog of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) Certificates have been released to students who graduated from some of the colleges but were unable to get their certificates.
He said: “One of the main problems on ground when I took over the administration of the commission was the backlog of unissued NCE Certificates to graduands by colleges of education. I summoned the Provosts and reminded them that their statutory role was not only to admit students and teach them, but also to graduate them to go and face other businesses in the world.”