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By NBF News
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The lack of interest by candidates to receive teacher education and their crave for degree certificates prompted the Federal Government to plan to either phase out the Colleges of Education or upgrade them , Minister of State for Education Mr Kenneth Gbagi said.

The minister disclosed this at the inauguration of an 11-man Technical Committee on the Establishment of six new universities and the future of Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Mono-Discipline Universities in Nigeria in Abuja yesterday. He said the teacher training institutes are no longer places of interest for candidates.

'We are at the verge of whether we should phase out the colleges of education or convert them to a more relevant use. It is no longer fashionable for us to have these teacher-training institutes and colleges of education. Come up with an in-depth arrangement with what to do,' he charged the committee,' he said.

Gbagi said the ministry is poised to improve the quality of education in the country, hence the need to review the future of other higher institutions in the sector apart from universities so that they will be relevant to meet the people's aspiration for university education.

'In the universities you people are setting up right now, we want to set up one of those universities as a university that trains teachers for the higher level of education because everybody wants degree; everybody wants to see B.Sc M.Sc amongst others,' he said.

He informed the committee that Bayelsa and Jigawa states have been identified as part of the states for the situation of the universities.

According to him, the sum of N10 billion has been set aside for the take-off of the six new universities which have to be situated in states where there are no federal universities.

Gbagi who instructed the committee to submit their report on Monday, 15th November, 2010 urged them to propose the possible core area of specialization for such university as regard to the comparative advantage of their location.

On his part, Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission and the chairman of the committee Professor Julius Okojie pledged to deliver on the task given to the committee.