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No Need To Convert Colleges of Education To Universities–Echono

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Echono

we need more teachers at the basic level

The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny Echono, has described the penchant and clamour to convert colleges of education to universities as unnecessary.

Echono stated this in Abuja, where he spoke as a special guest at the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union and Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education Conference on Digital Pedagogy and Fundable Research Proposal Writing, noting that many conventional universities already have faculties of education.

According to him, “there is need to produce more teachers for the primary school, which is the basic level of education, and the highest level of enrolment.

“Frankly I see no need for it. Universities already have faculties of education, and many of the conventional universities have this already. Why don’t we produce enough for this basic level first?

“We can have some level of specialisation because improvements come. And some of them already have that. But do we want to convert all our colleges of education to universities when we are not producing enough for our primary schools?”

He added that, “And you know the concept of the pyramid. The highest number of enrolment is at the primary level. Because people begin to drop out as they move to higher level. So that’s where we need the highest number of teachers.”

Citing Germany and Japan as examples of countries that get it right, Echono noted that it is the teachers at the basic level that earn more than the teachers even at the tertiary level.

Speaking on the topic of the conference, “Digital Pedagogy and Fundable Research Proposal Writing”, the ES said digital pedagogy is absolutely important in the colleges of education especially with the changing nature and mode of delivery of the curricular.

“Digital pedagogy is absolutely important. And our teachers, the mode of delivery of curricular is now changing. Because you are more becoming a facilitator not the harbinger of knowledge that we used to be.

“Today, Google knows more so many people. Now Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken it another level. It can even think for you. Focus on education is now on the students and it is now participatory rather than instruction.”

He further said that the academic staff of the colleges must be prepared to make the transition, adding that while in the process of transition, there is a need to also provide digitally friendly learning environment across the campuses.

“We also need to provide the tools, our campuses friendly to digital learning by providing not just the infrastructure but the assess, data and ambience.

“And to train the teachers who are going to make this transition. Because in today’s world, we are not going to be preparing our students only for work here.

“Our students and graduates should be globally competitive. We should be able to export some of them to the outside world. Some can even stay here and be working through outsourcing for other countries around the world. This should be our target,” Echono affirmed.

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