With the upgrading of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, to a university by the Federal Government, education pundits and stakeholders – though delighted that it would enhance quality teacher education delivery – are also apprehensive over the fate of NCE students since based on regulations the university and college of education can not cohabit on the same campus
Nothing to worry about fate of NCE students – College
It’s welcome development – Stakeholders
This is for Ondo Central, Ondo State’s benefit – Lawmakers
At last, after a long debate and legislative manoeuvring at the National Assembly, the dream to upgrade Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, to a university of education by critical stakeholders has been actualised.
The Bill upgrading the college, under: “An Act to Establish the Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo for the Promotion and Development of Teachers’ Education, Make Comprehensive Provisions for Management and Administration of the University and for Related Matters,” was recently signed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The agitation to convert the college to a university said to have begun several years ago, was revisited during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, before the bill at the National Assembly was also suspended in 2015 by the President Buhari-led administration.
Again, the bill was sponsored by Hon. Abiola Makinde, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency at the Green Chamber was represented in 2019 as part of his campaign promises
to his constituents. However, after a series debates, the bill was finally passed by the House of Representatives on July 23, 2021 and also by the Senate on October 13, 2021, and was on December 23, 2021 assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, therefore repealing the law establishing Adeyemi College of Education and upgrading the college to the status of a university, as the Adeyemi Federal University of Education (AFUE), Ondo State.
But, despite wide jubilation that greeted the upgrading of the college since the announcement by the people of Ondo community, the new university’s host community in Ondo West Local Government area of Ondo State, some stakeholders have expressed anxiety over the fate of students currently in the college’s Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) programme.
On the fate of the students, New Telegraph investigations revealed that the NCE programme would not be discontinued despite the upgrade of the college to a degree awarding institution and nothing to be worried about the fate of the students.
According to the Public Relations Officer for the college, Mrs. Seto Olatuyi, the NCE programme is still on despite the new status of the college, which has now become the Adeyemi Federal University of Education.
However, there is also apprehension among stakeholders whether or not the Ondo State Government has plans to establish a new college of education to replace the upgraded Adeyemi College of Education since the state is now without a government-owned college of education.
But, a source close to the state government has discountenance any plan by the government to establish a college of education, saying the present administration is not thinking along that line.
The source further told New Telegraph that already there are four government-owned tertiary institutions in the state, which are still difficult to maintain in terms of adequate funding, payment of workers’ salary and provision of infrastructure.
The source listed the institutions to include Adekunle Ajasin University at Akungba-Akoko (AAUA); University of Medical Sciences in Ondo; Olusegun Agagu University of Technology, Okitipupa and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.
Arguing further, the source noted that since Adekunle Ajasin University offers degrees in Education, there was no need for a new college of education or the urgency on the part of the state government to rush to establish one.
Meanwhile, the source also added that Adekunle Ajasin University has outreach or study centres where degrees in Education are awarded. Adeyemi College of Education was established in 1963, as the first college of education, to produce qualified teachers for secondary schools and teachers’ training colleges, as well as to conduct research and experiments on methods of teaching at all levels of education in the country.
To accomplish its core mandate of providing quality teacher education, the college, a Federal Government higher education institution, named after Canon M. C. Adeyemi, one of the earliest educationists in Yoruba land, in recognition of his immense contribution to educational development in then Ondo Province, was affiliated to the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) to award degree programmes in education.
The college formally commenced academic activities on May 22, 1964, when it opened its doors to 93 pioneer students, composing 24 women and 69 men, and metamorphosed into a first class college of education in the country and West Africa sub-region.
Until its upgrade last week, the college currently has five schools – Arts and Social Sciences, Education, Languages, Sciences and Vocational and Technical Education – with a total of 28 academic departments.
Currently, the college has nine hostels, which comprise six female hostels and three male hostels. The college is a combination of the various institutions that sprang up in the 60s to cater for the development of manpower for secondary schools and teacher training colleges in the Western region.
These include The Ransome Kuti College of Education, The Olunloyo College of Education and Ohio Teachers Project, Ondo all constituted the solid foundation on which it was built.
But, despite the jubilation that greeted the conversion of the college to a university, there has been a row between the two lawmakers; Hon. Abiola Makinde, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency at the Green Chamber and Senator Ayo Akinyelure, the Senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly over the claim of the sponsor of the bill.
This was as Hon. Makinde, who was elected under the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC) but later defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), while addressing a press conference following the announcement, claimed success for the upgrade of the college into university status.
He said: “As you may be previously aware, I broke the news of the presidential assent on the bill I presented at the National Assembly to upgrade Adeyemi College of Education to a Federal University, on my social media.
The news brings me, my community, leaders and students of this institution, a great joy and a sense of fulfillment.
“During my campaign in 2019 for election to the House of Representatives, I assured my constituents that if I am given the opportunity to serve as a member of the Green Chamber, that I would pursue tirelessly the prospect of Adeyemi College of Education becoming a Federal University of Education.
Even without knowing how to go about it and having never done such, I made the promise with faith in my heart, and upon receiving the mandate of the Ondo people to represent them at the National Assembly, I proceeded swiftly to act as promised, which has brought us here today.
“Based on our WEALTH Campaign mantra, anchored on Water Education Agriculture Light Training and Health, Adeyemi College of Education becoming a Federal University falls under Education.
This shows our total dedication to our campaign and we have delivered on all aspects of our campaign and beyond. “The benefits of upgrading the college will not only be enjoyed by the people of Ondo kingdom, but also the state at large.
This will not only ensure the education and job opportunities for our people; it will also boost the economy of Ondo State.
It would also improve the quality of our teachers; and it would also eliminate the delay often experienced by our graduating students as they have to wait a full year before they are mobilised by Obafemi Awolowo University for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
“It is a monumental achievement for the APC as a party because several lawmakers even before me have tried to get this done, but to no avail. I thank God, especially for the grace to see this through and I also thank my constituents and community leaders, particularly the Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo for the faith reposed in me since I became a member House of Representatives.
“Also, I profoundly thank President Muhammadu Buhari and Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives; Senator Babajide Omoworare; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Mr. Smart Oluwole, and Mr. Paul Adiwu for their tireless efforts in ensuring that the bill was signed.
“More importantly, I also thank the Provost of the college, Dr. Samuel Akintunde for putting the interest of the institution in becoming a university above any other discussion; the Chairman Governing Council of the college, Mrs. Idiat Babalola; all staff of the college, especially Dr. Nelson Osungbenro, Dr. Ozeigbu.
“Besides, I express my sincere gratitude to Senator Ajayi Boroffice, a Senator representing Ondo North; and Mr. Ajanaku for ensuring that the bill was listed for concurrence in the floor of the National Assembly, as well as all relevant stakeholders, who had helped in one way or the other, with the passage and assent of the bill.”
While Senator Akinyelure was omitted in Makinde’s acknowledgement, the Senator through his Special Adviser of Media, Mr. Charles Akinwon, said the upgrade of the college to university was attributable to his efforts at the Senate Chamber. Akinyelure, who was elected under the platform of PDP, said: “In as much as Akinyelure, the Senator representing Ondo Central in the Upper Chamber and Chairman of Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, will not join issue with anyone on the above subject matter.
But, it should be put on record that it was Senator Akinyelure that initiated and concluded the passage of the Bill in the Upper Legislative Chamber. However, the achievement of this important bill is for the benefit of Ondo Central in particular and the entire Ondo State in general and that is the greatest joy of the Senator.”
Some of the alumni of the college are Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, a renowned Professor of Test and Measurement and former Registrar of JAMB; Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Hno. Mukaila Adebola Akande, former House of Representatives member; the Late Bamidele Aturu, a lawyer and human rights activist; Prof. Olukoya Ogen, a Professor of History and former Provost of the college; Dr. Kunle Filani, former Provost of Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeookuta; Dr. Festus Oyebade, Oyo State Head of Service; Chief Ayodele Ademiluwa, Director-General, Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort.
Others include Dr. Samuel Akintunde, current Provost of the college; Dr. Samuel Ademola Azeez, current Provost of Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos; Mr. Francis Ojomo, a Police Commissioner; Mr. Dada Abdebisi James, Commissioner for Local Government Service Commission in Ekiti State; Mr. Shina Olukolu and Dr. Segun Jegede, former students’ union president of the college.
On the metamorphosis of the college, it will be recalled that Adeyemi College of Education commenced award of Degrees in 1979 in affiliation to the then University of Ife, now OAU.
Meanwhile, in 1996, the Provost of the college, Prof. Babatunde Ipaye, kicked started the advocacy for its upgrade to university, with many prominent stakeholders in the community, including renowned scholars, politicians and traditional leaders joining the advocacy for the upgrade.
Today, with the number of qualified staff to match the world class standard required, the number of degree students churned out yearly outnumbered the number of graduates produced by many universities in the country.
New Telegraph, however, learnt that some lawmakers of the Eighth National Assembly, including Hon. Joseph Iranola Akinlaja and Senator Tayọ Alasoadura presented the bill for the upgrading of the college, which former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan assented to, but was reversed by President Buhari’s administration in 2015.
Basking in the euphoria of the conversion of the college, a former President of the college Student’s Union, Olubodun Omotayo Marcus, in a statement, titled: “Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo City: Victory for All,” recalled that the process of upgrading the college began during the tenure of former Minister of Education, Prof. Rukayat Rufai, when four colleges were listed for upgrading as announced by President Jonathan, before it was put on hold by the present administration.
“The agitation to convince the Federal Government to upgrade Adeyemi College of Education, the premier and foremost teacher training institution in Nigeria, established in 1963 to a university, began as far back as 1982,” he said.