FG vows to begin crackdown on illegal colleges of education

The Federal Government has expressed concerns about the proliferation of unaccredited Colleges of Education in the country and vowed to commence nationwide crackdown on all illegal National Certificate in Education (NCE) awarding institutions.

Acting Chairman, Governing Board of the National Commission for Colleges of Education Commission, Hassan Muhammad Dukku, gave this indication, on Wednesday, in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the retreat for Board members and management of the Commission held in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.

Dukku, who also disclosed that government has banned satellite campuses of the Colleges, said many of these outreaches were substandard and not properly supervised by the parent institutions.

He said the retreat was organised principally to discuss issues on the role of the Governing Board and Management that would promote teacher education in Nigeria, as well as forestall conflict and internal wrangling between board members and management.

He noted that one of the recommendations of the retreat was for the Board and Management to intensify efforts to identify and stamp out illegal NCE-awarding institutions.

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The participants at the retreat also called for a review of NCE Minimum Standards every five (5) years, urging the Board and Management to continue to follow due process in employment, discipline, promotion, budgeting and procurement.

The communique issued at the end of the retreat and signed by Dukku and the Executive Secretary of NCCE, Professor Bappa-Aliyu Muhammadu, called on Federal and State Governments to increase funding for teacher education.

On the clampdown on illegal Colleges of Education in the country, he said: “We are doing our best to crack down on all illegal NCE-awarding institutions that are not recognised by law.

“What is affecting the Colleges, is the proliferation of unaccredited NCE-awarding institutions.

“Some of these Colleges of Education are establishing outreach centres and instead of people to come and spend three good years to get NCE, they go to outreach centres and within a year or two they will graduate as NCE holders.

“This is just like what is happening at the university level where people who are not qualified to be admitted in Nigerian universities will cross the border and bring university First-Class certificate. The same thing is applying now to Colleges of Education.

“We are trying as much as possible to identify all these illegal NCE-awarding institutions and close them. Where it is necessary, we will involve security agencies including Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

“For the Federal Colleges of Education, we have told them that there should not be outreach centres for NCE programme,” he said.

He said the Commission was committed towards improvement in the quality of teaching and learning in Colleges of Education in Nigeria, saying this would enhance the production of quality teachers that would teach in schools across the country.

According to him, this is done through the accreditation of programmes of the NCE-awarding institutions and regular review of the NCE curriculum among others.

Dukku said further, “At the retreat, we discussed the relationship between the management and board as it affects the smooth running of the NCCE, how the budgets are implemented, the procurement processes among others.

“Many boards usually have problems with the management either by overstepping their boundaries or arrogating so much power to themselves. To avoid this kind of conflict, we decided to organise the retreat where we invited professionals, Federal Government agencies to remind us what our role is all about,” he said.

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