By Joseph Erunke
THE federal government, Tuesday, said it has begun clampdown on illegal colleges of education across the country.
The Executive Secretary of National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prof. Paulinus Okwelle, who said this at a pre-press conference on a two-day national summit on the future of NCE programme in Nigeria,reiterated government’s commitment to revamping teacher education in the country.
Okwelle,who also said there was the need to review the laws establishing both the NCCE and the federal colleges of education,lamented that,”In the course of carrying out our regulatory and monitoring functions, we encounter challenges of the proliferation of illegal colleges of education and study centres in all the length and breath of the country.”
He said the country at the moment has 2019 recognised NCE awarding institutions including 27 federal, 50 states, 122 private, 9 polytechnics, and 11 affiliate institutions that run NCE as a course of study under them.
Açcording to Okwelle,the commission would continue to give priority to standards and upgrade the quality of colleges of education in the country through accreditation, resource visitations, monitoring and programme inspection.
But he lamented the low enrolment of students for Nigeria Certificate in Education programme as well as low carrying capacity of the existing colleges of education in the country.
Açcording to him,colleges of education were currently being faced with the challenge of the low enrolment of students for NCCE programme in spite of the adequate human and material resources in the nation’s colleges.
Prof. Okwelle said many factors could account for this negative posture of the colleges and the need to give them proper attention, explaining that this informed why the summit with the theme: Nigeria Certificate in Education: The Way Forward, was organised by the Commission to enable stakeholders brainstorm on how to revamp teacher education in Nigeria.
Lamenting over the huge backlog of unissued certificates by colleges of education,he directed all concerned to ensure that certificates were promptly released to students.
Açcording to him,about 63,554 NCE certificates have been issued in the last 11 months.
“The Commission continue to encourage Colleges of Education to clear the backlogs of unissued NCE certificates. In the period under review, the Commission vetted and approved final year results from various NCE awarding institutions”,he said.