The Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade has flagged off construction work on the state’s West Africa Advanced Teachers’ Continuous Training College.
Fielding questions from journalists at the construction site located in Biase Local Government Area, Ayade, accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Prof Ivara Esu and some members of the state executive council, said the intent was to improve the performance and skills of teachers while addressing WASSCE performance in the state.
“This will be the first of its kind in the entire West Africa, it will be awarding degrees in collaboration with the British Canadian team, share affiliation with other universities across the world, particularly Canada and Britain,” Ayade stated.
He said the project will be completed within six months, adding, “the college will have international teachers, particularly from Pakistan and India to handle physics and chemistry. The government will take a lot of teachers from the Philippines to teach in specialised areas focusing on improving WASSCE performance in the state.”
He said another reason for establishing the college was to move the state to the first position in terms of performance in WAEC and NECO examinations, even as plans are underway to change the state Ministry of Education to Ministry of Quality Education.
The governor, who disclosed that the choice of the project site was in honour of Esu, said “I just thought to myself that one day when we are out of office, they will ask what did you do for Biase people when you were a deputy governor?”
He said in doing this, “you will have a very big project to show as a former vice-chancellor, former dean, a university professor and now a deputy governor, so, there is nothing that will please you more than adding value to education in the state.”
Ayade stressed that “to have quality education, one must have good teachers’ training, so this institute is dedicated to teachers’ training located in the heartbeat of a city and location where they produce lots of professors including the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, now the deputy governor.”
In his remarks, Esu commended the governor for the honour done him by building the college in his home local government area and for deciding that he should run with him for a second term. “My joy knows no bound and I am so happy. I want to promise him that the same kind of support that I have given to him from 2015, I will continue to support him for ever even in and out of office.”
On the project, Esu said: “I see this school in future being called Cross River State University of Education as it will train teachers to be more effective and these teachers will demonstrate their skills to the students that will be admitted here.
“It will not only make the teachers to cater for the needs of Cross Riverians, but also the rest of Nigerians and indeed West Africa as the name suggests.”