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FG decries poor enrollment of undergraduates in colleges of education

…Orders COEs to clear backlog of unissued certificates

The federal government has lamented the low enrollment of students in colleges of education for Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) Programme and low carrying capacity of the existing colleges in the country.

The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle, made this known Tuesday in Abuja during a pre-press conference on a two-day national summit on the future of NCE programme in Nigeria scheduled to hold from Wednesday to Thursday in Abuja.

He expressed concerns that the anation’s colleges of education are currently being faced with the challenges of low enrollment of students for NCE programme in spite of surplus human and material resources in the colleges across the country.

He noted that many factors could account for this negative trend  and stressed  the need for concerted efforts to give them proper attention.  He said this informed the reason for  the summit with the theme: Nigeria Certificate in Education: The Way Forward,  which was organised by the commission to enable stakeholders brainstorm on how to revamp teacher education in Nigeria.

Prof. Okwelle who is barely 11 months in the office has expressed dismay over the huge backlog of unissued certificates and directed all colleges of education in the country to ensure that the certificates are promptly released to students in line with global best practices.

He disclosed however, that about 63,554 NCE certificates had been issued in the last 11 months.

 “The Commission continues 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,” Prof. Okwelle said.

While expressing the commitment of the federal government to revamp teacher education in Nigeria, Okwelle said there was the need to review the laws establishing both the NCCE and Federal Colleges of Education.

He said that Nigeria currently has 2019 recognised NCE awarding institutions, including 27 federal, 50 states, 122 private, 9 polytechnics, and 11 affiliate institutions that run NCE under them.

He reiterated that the commission would continue to entrench standards and upgrade the quality of NCE in the country through accreditation, resource visitations, monitoring and programme inspection, hinting that the commission has also commenced clampdown on illegal colleges of education across the country.

“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.”

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