Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has appealed to federal government to upgrade the Federal College of Education Okene to a Federal University of Education in order to boost educational development in the country.
Bello who made the appeal at the weekend during the 15th combined convocation ceremony of the college in Okene , said the institution has what it takes in terms of staff and infrastructure to assume the status of a university of education.
He noted that the college in the last four decades has contributed immensely to the training of qualified teachers for basic education, stressing that the institution was long overdue for upgrading to university.
The governor who reiterated the importance of education to nation development, pointed out that the sector top the five thematic areas of his new direction agenda of the present administration.
He however commended the effort of the Provost Dr Iyela Ajayi for his selfless service that has singled out the institution as one of the best colleges of education in the country.
In his address, the chairman of the governing council of the institution Engr. Sa’ad Abubakar, said within the eight years of the Provost’s administration, the college has enjoyed peace , harmony and uninterrupted academic calendar, noting that there was no unfortunate development such as students unrest and industrial dispute between management and staff.
Earlier, the Provost of the college Dr Iyela Ajayi in his address appealed to federal government to improve on the level of funding, saying that the internally generated revenue of the college can hardly do anything in the face of the competing demands from all sectors of the institution.
According to him, “As a result of the expanding population of students and the concomitant need for infrastructural facilities for teaching and learning, the present level of funding is hardly adequate. The financial resources at the disposal of the college can no longer cope with enormous resources involved in maintaining the utility services for our staff and students and also meeting the increasing demands for staff earned academic and other allowances.”
The Provost who will be bowing out of the college by next month, also suggested to the federal government to make master’s degree as the minimum qualification for teaching in colleges of education in the country to improve on the standard of teaching.
He commended governor Bello for approving the construction of an overhead pedestrian bridge near the college gate to prevent further accidents and loss of live as well as the provision of police post around the college.
The highlight of the occasion was the conferment of the “Fellowship of the Federal College of Education ” on the former Inspector General of Police, Dr Ibrahim Coomassie; former Chief Justice of Nigeria , Hon. justice Salihu Modibbo Alfa Belgore and former Director General Nigeria Broadcasting Commission , Dr Tom Adaba.