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Lagos Colleges of Education seek upgrade to varsity status


Imran Musa
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Stakeholders at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED) have continued to call on the state government to upgrade both institutions to university status. However, whether the state government would do so is another issue, reports DAMOLA KOLA-DARE.

The Lagos State Government has at various times said it would upgrade Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Epe, universities of Education.

The agitation to convert both schools to degree-awarding institutions has been on for some years, but it gathered steam during the tenure of former Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Fashola in 2008.

For AOCOED, during its 50th anniversary and convocation, staff and students had expected the pronouncement, but it was not to be.

Also, during its 60th anniversary/convocation, the management, staff and students were fired up to hear that it had been upgraded, but the then Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, did not accede to their demands.

Making a case for the upgrade

Nevertheless, the agitation has been renewed. The College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and students’ union have urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to upgrade the college to University of Education. COEASU and the students’ body said the conversion was long overdue.

COEASU Chairman Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education branch Mr. Ige Ajayi said the college possessed the required manpower, facilities, and structure to award degrees to youths craving for university certificates.

He noted that staff and students expected the announcement at the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the institution, but the state government didn’t upgrade the college to degree-awarding status.

He said: “It is no longer news that AOCOED is old enough to be upgraded to university status. The need for change in status for AOCOED to become a University of Education is long overdue. Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education is the oldest tertiary institution established by the Lagos State Government with the aim of advancing the frontiers of knowledge among pre-service and in-service teachers as well as other stakeholders through teaching, research, and creation of lifelong learning opportunities that are relevant and responsive to national and global needs.

“AOCOED, since 1958, has evolved from several stages, based on the dynamism and quest for knowledge by Lagosians from a Grade III teacher training college, named Lagos Day Training College in 1958, it became Grade II Teacher Training College; then NCE-awarding college in the 1970s, and a degree-awarding institution in 1999 in collaboration with University of Ado-Ekiti on sandwich degree programme in education courses and got approval in 2009 from the National Universities Commission (NUC) to run full-time degree programmes.

“It is on record that the resource team from NUC on three occasions gave 100 per cent accreditation to the college’s 26 programmes. The college has produced notable Nigerians who have contributed, are contributing and will continue to contribute to the overall growth of the state and Nigeria in all spheres of life.’’

The COEASU chairman noted that the college had a rich pedigree with its affiliation with Ekiti State University. He said AOCOED could boast of qualified human resource, adequate infrastructure, accredited curriculum, Webometrics ranking, mega-city status of Lagos, socio-economic benefits, improved students’ subscription, staff job satisfaction,among others.

“Needless to say that with PhD holders close to 75 under her belt and about 30 getting close to the finishing line both home and abroad, while about 12 are waiting to defend, not many universities can beat this human record. There are some universities with less than 20 PhD holders that run so many degree programmes,’’ he said.

Ajayi said AOCOED had demonstrated its readiness to transform to a university by passing three consecutive rigorous accreditation exercises from the NUC in the last 15 years.

“Transmuting to a university will not be less than an affirmation of 16-year record of having graduated over 25,000 sandwich degree students, and over 4,000 full-time degree students in the last nine years, in collaboration with Ekiti State University.’’

He also said the old universities like UNILORIN, UNILAG, UI, and LASU were utilising brilliant minds in the college for their academic and administrative works.

“All the states in the South-West, with less economic status, have at least two universities. Majority of the students in those universities by a survey are drawn from Lagos residents. Therefore, transiting AOCOED to a university of education will be timely, as it will help Lagos residents stay in the state of excellence for their studies.

“Given that there is unanimity of purpose among the staff unions and the AOCOED community is enough assurance that the entire college community desires its transition to University of Education,” he said.

He noted that the state government had promised to upgrade the college, He , however the government not to renege on its promise.

“This should be kept. Needful to add that at the time the college management conveyed the good news of the state government’s plan to transmute the college to university status to the AOCOED community, it was overwhelmingly received with enthusiasm, exhilaration, jubilation and appreciation to the people’s governor. It will be very demoralising for the staff to hear otherwise,” he added.

MOCPED also seeking upgrade

In an interview with The Nation, Chairman College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Mr. Jamal Adepoju Apena noted that MOCPED could boast of we have qualified teaching personnel.

“Many of our members are Ph.D holders and we have a good learning environment. I believe one of the visions of having the university in a particular place has to do with developing rural areas in the midst of the standard of the urban areas,” he said.

Apena who said the union was in support of an upgrade, noted that Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo State has got approval for upgrade to a full-fledged University of Education. He , therefore,urged the Lagos State government to do the same.

“We also run degree programmes, one with the University of Ibadan and the other with Ekiti State University. We have been doing that for many years; we have qualified hands who are able to meet up with the standard of a University of Education.

“Also, the number of students enrolling in colleges of education has reduced compared to that of universities. Many parents do not want their children in colleges of education.

“The Lagos State Government does not want NCE and OND in the state.Even Lagos State Polytechnic is expected to become university of technology,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser on Education to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, has decried the student population of both AOCOED and MOCPED. He noted that their population could not be compared with other institutions within the state. He said NCE had become old fashioned, adding that government is working on the upgrade.

He said: “The student strength of AOCOED and MOCPED is extremely low. It is totally abysmal. The studies have shown us that 50 per cent of employable people in the next 10 years are people that have university certificates. They are the ones employers of labour would want to employ in whatever capacity. We also know for a fact that NCE has become old fashioned. However that came to be, I do not know. Now if you write JAMB, your best students are allocated to the universities; the next best go to the polytechnics. The ones with the worst results go to the colleges and you want to have good teachers. It does not work that way.”

 

Source: The Nation

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