Colleges of Education may now award first degrees

OrderPaperToday- The senate has passed a bill to repeal the federal colleges of education act 1986 and to re-establish Federal Colleges of Education for second reading.

During the lead debate of the bill its sponsor, Senator Jibrin Barau, revealed that federal colleges may soon be able to award first degrees akin to that of Nigerian universities.

The federal colleges in the country currently award only the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE).

If approved, the issuance of the new degree would be on the approval of regulatory agencies governing the institutions.

A period of five years was proposed for Provosts of the colleges against the previous four years, which is similar to that of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.

Additionally, Bursars and Registrars of the colleges have been provided a single tenure of five years and the bill suggests the provision of two deputy Provosts– one for academics and the other for administration.

Promotional materials, trainings, benefits and welfare for lecturers in Colleges of Education will now rise to the packages allotted to university professors.

In his debate, Jibrin noted that these amendments aim to stop the dichotomy between the federal colleges and universities.

Another bill passed for second reading was one to repeal the National commission for colleges of education at (No.3) of 1989 and to establish the National Commission for Teacher Education and other related matters.

The bill, according to its sponsor, will give the Executive Secretary of National commission for Colleges of Education a tenure of five years, which will be renewable as contained in similar positions within the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).

The commission’s age of retirement, welfare packages and other entitlements will be the same as that of the NUC.

Also considered for second reading is a bill to provide for the establishment of the School of Mines and Geological Studies, Guyuk, Adamawa state.

According to the Sponsor of the bill, Senator Ahmad Abubakar, the bill was initiated following the shortage of skills and manpower faced in the mining sector.

He said: “The challenge is more serious in northern state because only one state has such establishment located in Jos, Plateau state.

“It would provide course for training, conduct research, work with stakeholders in the sector, it would create 3 million jobs by 2020.”

Senators Ibn N’allah and Ohuabunwa supported the bill while Senator Barnabas Gemade canvassed for the establishment of a similar institution for the North West.

The highlighted bills were passed for second reading and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to be reported back in four weeks.

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