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FG APPROVES N10BN FOR 6 NEW VARSITIES, PLANS DEGREE AS MINIMUM TEACHING QUALIFICATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

By NBF News
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Following the approval of six Federal Universities on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the Federal Government, yesterday approved N10 billion for the take-off of the proposed institutions. This came as the Federal Government considered bachelors degree as minimum teaching qualification the primary and secondary schools in the country.

This implies that the former minimum qualification of the National College of Education Certificate (NCE) would soon be scrapped and the future of polytechnic education, seriously threatened. To this effect, the Federal Government yesterday inaugurated a committee to work out the modalities for establishing the varsities which will be sited in Bayelsa, Jigawa and other states where Federal universities are absent.

Members of the committee include the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC) as chairman and the CEO/PSE as secretary.

Other members are Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE); Executive Secretary, National Colleges of Education Commission (NCCE); Executive Secretary Education Trust Fund (ETF) and Deputy Director, PSE.

They also include; Deputy Director, Universities; Deputy Director, Polytechnics; Deputy Director, Colleges of Education; representative of Department, Basic Education and two external members.

The committee has the mandate to develop the modalities for the setting up of six new universities in Nigeria considering the location (one per geographical zone, in a state that does not currently have a Federal university), proposed size (considering that it may not be the size of a conventional university as it currently exists in Nigeria); detailed costing of each university in developmental phases; required take-off grant for the first phase of each university and mode of funding.

The committee was also charged to consider the future of the Colleges of Education and the resultant NCE qualification; consider the future of mono-discipline universities; develop two council memos (one for the establishment of six new universities and the other, for the future of colleges of education, polytechnics and mono-discipline universities for deliberation at the next Federal Executive Council meeting, on Wednesday, next week.

While inaugurating the committee, the Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, declared that the Federal Government has approved N10 billion for the take-off of the universities and that the committee has till Monday, next week to submit its report. He noted that although 12 new Federal universities were approved, six of them would receive immediate attention while the committee is required to recommend a time-frame, states and towns for the location of the other six.