The Provost of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Professor Olukoya Joseph Ogen, has reiterated the determination of his administration to raise the status of the College to the level that it would become the leading teacher training institution in Africa.
Professor Ogen made the statement in a welcome address delivered at the 9th National Conference of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) South West Zone, held on Tuesday, 14th March, 2018 in the institution.
He described the College as one of the foremost and over-subscribed institutions by admission seekers in the country, stating that its Webometrics ranking as the best College of Education in Nigeria for the past three years bear testimony of its academic prowess and leadership position.
He said: "I am very proud to say that in Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo we are always ove-subscribed as the best College of Education."
"For the past three years, we have always been coming first and adjudged the best. We don't want to rest on our oars, we want to raise the bar to become Africa's leading teacher training institution. We also want to be the best in Africa and the world."
The College's helmsman congratulated the organisers of the conference and lauded the leadership of the union in the College for the support and cooperation given to his administration.
He described the theme of the conference, "Teacher Education and Students Enrolment in Colleges of Education in Nigeria," as well thought and apt, noting that the problem of enrolment has become one of the major challenges threatening teacher education that requires urgent solution.
Professor Ogen, therefore, charged participants at the conference to come up with a "well articulated communiqué that would provide solutions to the dwindling enrolment in Colleges of Education and ensure that its outcome is made available to governments, Colleges of Education and other stakeholders for possible implementation."
Earlier in his goodwill message, the national president, COEASU, Comrade Nuhu Ogirima speaking on "Towards Sustainable Boost in Subscription To The College of Education System" lamented what described as "abysmally low" request for admission placement by prospective students into colleges of education in the country, as against huge demands for university admissions.
As panacea, the COEASU national president, represented by a one-time national president of the union, Comrade Remi Makinde, charged participants at the conference to proffer solutions that would help in changing the trends.
Also in his address, the chairman of the local organising committee, who is also the ACE chapter chairman COEASU, Dr. Tope Oziegbe, explained that the theme of the conference was chosen in order to seek ways to reposition the colleges of education for better service delivery and to address the problem of dwindling enrolment currently facing it.
The ACE COEASU chair expressed appreciation to the College management under the leadership of Professor Ogen for the financial support given to the union for the conference, while he also thanked members of the local organizing committee and sub-committees for their contributions towards the success of the conference.
In a keynote address delivered by the Chairman of the occasion, who is also the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Ondo, Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami, stressed the importance of teacher education and urged governments at all levels to accord priority to it.
She highlighted some of the problems affecting the teaching profession in Nigeria to include inadequate funding, negative societal perception, poor quality assurance, dilapidated infrastructure as well as poor policy implementation, stating that the cumulative effect of the problems could be attributed as factors responsible for low enrollment in colleges of education.
On ways that the anomalies could be addressed, the NIEPA boss advocated increase funding and training and re-training of teachers, emphasizing the need for those in the teaching profession to keep abreast of global trends through engagement in problem-solving and critical thinking, maintaining the move would enhance their profiency and make them globally competitive.
Also speaking while delivering the lead paper at the conference, a lecturer at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Oyo state, Dr. Sunday Ayodele Taiwo, described education as the cornerstone of any nation and stressed the need for government to invest heavily in it.
He underscored the importance of teacher education and emphasized its role in national development, saying its development would help in enhancing societal growth and development as "the quality of any educational system is determined by the quality of the teaching-learning process."
Dr. Ayodele spoke extensively on issues which include enrolment trends in Nigerian colleges of education, quality of enrolment in colleges of education, factors affecting selection of entrants into teacher education as well as selection strategies for enrolment of students into teacher education programmes and gave six recommendations of how to improve student intakes into colleges of education.
The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Dr. Victor kiladejo in his goodwill message, congratulated the College management and the organisers for holding the conference in the institution and extending invitation to him.
The royal father, who was represented by a traditional chief in the community and a forner Ambassador, Chief Orobola Fasehun, described the occasion as historic and reiterated the interest of the people of the community to educational development and equally pledged his support to the growth and development of the institution.
The programme which held at the Obongawan climaxed with presentation of awards to a one- time provost, FCE (Special), Oyo, Dr. Adebiyi Emmanuel Olufemi and Alhaji Nurudeen Olanrewaju Sodipe some of the prominent members of the union.
Eminent personalities who attended the ceremony include the Deputy Provost, Dr. Samuel Akintunde, Deans and Directors, Heads of Department and Units including Information and Public Relations, Provost's Office, Centre for Educational Technology ( CET), delegates from various colleges of education in the South West which inlude the Colleges of Education Abeokuta, Akoka, Ijanikin, Epe, Ilesa, Ikere-Ekiti, Ilesa, Ila-Orangun, Oro, Ilorin as well as staff and students of Adeyemi College.