College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, recently administered the oath of matriculation on 1,150 fresh students at the institution’s campus in Ikere-Ekiti. The provost, Professor Mojisola Adenike Oyarekua, thereafter spoke with SAM NWAOKO on her administration, vision and challenges. Excerpts:
IN view of what looks like the dwindling enrollment in colleges of education, how viable is your college’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme?
We are very viable and I make bold to tell you that we have over 100 trainees that have registered and have started the courses in the various areas. Those enrolled for the courses include some members of staff and even people from outside the college. They have come from various, diverse backgrounds to learn new skills and enrich themselves.
The management of the Entrepreneurship Centre Programmes is anchored in the management of the college. Entrepreneurship training programme is part of the school’s programmes that we have floated to give diplomas and certificates to even artisans in and around town. They can come and we shall train them and give them certificates of proficiency. For us at the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, we take this seriously and so, it is a management issue.
Looking back, as the provost, how would you describe the college between the last matriculation and this one?
I really bless God. This is my second matriculation as the provost, and I recall that by this time last year, I promised so many things and I’m happy to announce that the vision of the management has been achieved up to 80 per cent. For instance, we have the college’s water plant in place, where bottled and sachet water is manufactured. We have the gym in place, and already, the renovation of the building for our new printing press is ongoing. We have also sent numerous members of staff on training and development programmes, conferences and workshops, including those for their PhD and Master’s degrees programmes.
In addition to these, we have devised means to engage some of the students in minor jobs that would not disrupt the flow of their academic programmes while they earn some money. So, we are moving on.
What then would you say are those things that stand as challenges for the management you’re leading?
I have so many things in mind, like the road network of the college, which I was hoping I would have done by now. There hasn’t been adequate fund to carry out that project. There’s the issue of dwindling enrollment by students. Many of them don’t want to teach in primary schools and they think that is all you could do with a college degree. Because of this erroneous belief, many eligible students are not being encouraged to seek admission into the college.
However, I want to say that if you pass through the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, you can function anywhere. If you pass through here, you can work anywhere. We are working to ensure that we arrest the development and shore up enrollment for the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE).
Right now, we are happy that we have more students than we admitted last year; and so, I’m hoping that by next session, there would have been (higher) enrollment. Right now, we have a total of 1,150 students, and we hope for an improvement by next session.