Memorandum to the House Committee on Tertiary Education on the Need to Reverse the Suspended University Status of Adeyemi College of Education
On behalf of the Management staff, students and the over 50,000 alumni of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, I wish to appreciate the unwavering commitment of the members of the House Committee on Tertiary Education towards the development of education in Nigeria.
Adeyemi College of Education, established in 1964, started offering degree programmes in 1982 in affiliation with Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. The eighteen degree programmes, that are all approved by the relevant regulatory agencies, are taught by lecturers of the College who are seasoned and are as qualified as their university counterparts across the country. Our desire for a full university status is predicated, among others, on the following committees’ reports:
Ø 1999 Federal Government Committee to examine modalities for mounting degree programmes in selected Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education;
Ø the 2007 Presidential Technical Committee for the Consolidation of Federal Tertiary Institutions;
Ø the relatively recent 2014 Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Feasibility of Autonomy for Federal Colleges of Education to award Degrees in Education, and;
Ø the recommendation of a special Visitation Panel of the NUC/NCCE ten years ago which included our College among the federal colleges to be upgraded to full university status.
Some of these reports must have informed the ministerial pronouncement of Adeyemi College of Education by the then Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, as one of the four Federal Colleges of Education purportedly upgraded in July 2010.
Interestingly, this age-long aspiration became a reality with the Federal Executive Council’s pronouncement of Adeyemi College of Education as a full-fledged university of education alongside three other Federal Colleges of Education on Wednesday 20th of May, 2015. This pronouncement came only a week after the 2015 TIF webometric rankings had adjudged Adeyemi College of Education the best college of education in Nigeria. For almost three months thereafter, we operated as a university and the totality of the machinery for the full consummation of this new status was speedily being put in place. However, in a dramatic twist, the Federal government decided to put the new status on hold on the 7th of August 2015. The Honourable Chairman, Sir, and the entire Honourable Members of the House Committee on Tertiary Education deserve kudos for revisiting this issue with a view to ultimately releasing the hold that was put on our university status.
Some Salient Justifications for the Immediate Reversal of the Suspended University Status of Adeyemi College of Education
1. Physical and Intellectual Aesthetics
The College boasts of state-of-the-art physical infrastructure and the commensurate academic and administrative capacities to function effectively as a university. In terms of space, our buildings presently occupy 41 hectares out of a total of 264 hectares acquired from our host community. This gap amply gives room for future expansion.
2. Students Enrolment for our Degree Programes
Whereas we are over-subscribed for our degree problems, we have been finding it increasingly difficult to attract NCE students. It is curious to note that for a college of education whose primary mandate is the training of NCE students, only 842 students applied for our NCE courses compared to 9,111 candidates that applied for our degree programmes during the 2015/2016 post UTME screening exercise. Total number of degree students currently stands at 7,379. At the last count, ACE has produced 17,235 first degree holders in Education. Moreover, since April 1992 when the Senate of Obafemi Awolowo University approved the mounting of a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, we have also produced a total number of 577 PGD holders.
3. The Exorbitant Costs and Pains of Affiliation
A positive review of our suspended university status will as a matter of fact put paid to the ever increasing high expenditure that the College currently incurs because of its affiliate status. Indeed, the affiliation of the College for its degree programmes has become financially burdensome. The cost implications of processing results, official travelling expenses to Obafemi Awolowo University and its attendant personal risks, cost of moderation and supervision, teaching practice expenses and other sundry costs are becoming unbearable. Our IGR has been seriously depleted because it is mainly spent on servicing and sustaining the current affiliate status.
The bureaucracy of affiliation has also engendered delays in the approval of results and this has by extension created a backlog of graduating students going back to 2012. Indeed, a large number of students are unable to go for the mandatory NYSC exercise as and when due. This development has become scandalous and students have sometimes gone on rampage over the issue. This tendency could also be partly blamed on the large number of our degree students which more often than not outnumbers, by over 80%, the total number of students in the same discipline in our affiliate university.
4. Brain Gain versus Brain Drain
The College currently boasts of 114 academic staff with PhD degrees and many more are being trained at home and abroad. This figure would have been higher if not for the fact that many of our lecturers are often ‘poached’ by sister universities as soon as they obtain their PhDs. Naturally, every PhD holder aspires to ultimately become a Professor, and since this is not possible in our colleges of education, the tendency to migrate to the universities for academic fulfillment is very rife. The College is therefore denied the benefits of its investment in training this cadre of lecturers. Nevertheless, I am happy to report that our staff are in hot demand, for instance, in the last one decade, 25 academic staff of the College have been found appointable as visiting lecturers on sabbatical appointments in fifteen universities across the country. Some of them have gone back to those universities to become Readers and Professors.
Mr Chairman and other Honourable members, it is against the backdrop of the above-stated reasons, among several other justifications, that have been ably enunciated by the Osemawe-in-Council, our unions, students and the entire alumni community, that I earnestly plead, in my capacity as the first alumnus Provost of my College, for an immediate positive review of our suspended university status.
Professor Olukoya Ogen
Provost, Adeyemi College of Education