• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Echono kicks against conversion of colleges of education to universities

FG approves N25bn to upgrade labs, workshops in tertiary institutions

…. Says more investment needs to go into teacher education

Sonny Echono, executive secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), has kicked against the conversion of Colleges of Education into Universities of Education.

Echono, who spoke at the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union and Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education Conference on Digital
Pedagogy and Fundable Research
Proposal Writing, said rather, more investment should be directed towards teachers education and the teaching profession.

Read also: TETFund to defund non-performing centres of excellence – Minister

According to him “Our colleges of education prepare teachers of education, and as an architect, I can tell you if you do not get your foundation right, anything you try to build on it is embedded and that is why we must accord priority attention to this level of our education.

“It will not be rocket science to know why we need to invest more in the sector. If you are thinking of more than your education system, you must provide incentives.

“To attract the best grades, you must create incentive retailers who are committed, at that level it is not just about the job, it’s actually a lifelong devotion of commitment to raise the young people impacting knowledge and skills.

“If we do not get it right at this level as a country, not only will we lose our soul, we might even lose our hands and legs and God forbid even our lives. Because it is when you give people a foundation, you give them knowledge you give them skills, then this translates to hope for them.

“Why do we want to convert all our colleges of education to universitie when we are not producing enough teachers for primary schools?

“I know the concept of the pyramid, the highest number of enrollment is at primary level, people begin to fall, drop out or stop as you move to higher levels. So that’s where we need the highest number of teachers.”

Buttressing his point, he said countries that get it right, citing Germany and Japan as examples, pay teachers at basic level more than teachers at tertiary level.

Speaking further, the ES disclosed that the Ministry of Education is working to ensure that the salary of teachers gets paid through a direct link, with nothing holding it, to avoid delay. He disclosed that the President has signed on it and is therefore, just waiting for implementation.

Speaking to press men, Smart Olugbeko, the President, Colleges of Education, called the decision to convert colleges of education to universities ‘a misplaced priority on the part of the government.”

“The ES captured it succinctly when he actually made us to understand that doing that is at the peril of the basic level of education

“Because we’re talking about college of education, Colleges of education were established for the purpose of catering for the basic level of education. And when we talk about basic level of education is the level of education that anybody that wants to be literate will need to be able to pass through and the college education is especially dedicated to train people that will teach at this level.

“Therefore, if because our primary schools have collapsed as a result of privatization of primary schools at the detriment of the public primary schools, therefore, government because most of them are elitist in their orientation in their thinking, what they believe that is all about tertiary education is University and that is why they keep on converting colleges to university at the detriment of the system.”