Academic staff in Colleges of Education (CoE) under the umbrella of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the steps taken to restore the “lost glory” of the Federal Colleges of Education.
The Union specifically thanked the President and the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, for the establishment of six new Federal Colleges of Education, his choice of Provosts and other principal staff, and recent reconstitution of Visitation Panels to the Colleges.
COEASU President, Nuhu Ogirima, in a statement, said the Union views the choice and pedigree of the membership of the various teams as commendable. With specific reference to the headship of the Visitation Panels, Ogirima said it’s quite unprecedented, given their track records of patriotism and selfless service to the nation through years of mentoring generations either as academics of repute and, or administrators.
He said: “To us as a Union, the composition of the various bodies is a step towards fulfilling the age-long quest for efficiency, consistent with the statute, in service delivery. Councils need be cognizant of their roles and should, as much as possible, avoid the overbearing tendencies more often than not exerted on college managements.
“Such a development should rather be seen as strengthening inter-institutional bonds and the promotion of cross-breeding of intellectual ideas among academics in tertiary institutions.”
The Union said it’s not oblivious of the limitations or constraints imposed by the Acts establishing the COEs and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) currently undergoing appropriate legislative process at the National Assembly, which may have informed some decisions on choice of officers.
“However, in the interim, the fulfillment of pledge to reposition the sector and government’s recourse to merit in appointments rather than primordial considerations coupled with the uncommon political will to establish the new colleges is a proof of government pragmatic sense of purpose to ease access to tertiary teacher-education,” it said.
The Union, however, emphasized the need to be purposive and comprehensive in handing over the instructional mandate of the six colleges of education to the appointed Provosts.
“Federal Ministry of Education and NCCE should properly guide the processes of accessing the funding windows available to enable systematic but firm take-off of the institutions,” it added.