As part of fresh moves to upgrade the Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Anambra State to a degree awarding institution, the former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has called on the Federal Government to elevate the college to a full-fledged special University of Education (Technical).
This was as he said that the called was necessitated in order to enhance students’ access to higher degrees in technical education, and to equip them with the right employable skills. Ezeife, delivered the college’s special silver jubilee celebration lecture, entitled: “The Nascent of Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze in the South East of Nigeria: The Growth, Impacts and Strategic Plans for Tomorrow.” According to him, the college stands a better chance of becoming a centre of excellence in quality vocational, technical and science education programme in the geo-political zone.
The former governor was joined by other stakeholders in the renewed appeal for the elevation of the college to a university. Specifically, the pioneer Provost of the college, who is currently the traditional ruler of Azia community, Prof. Titus Eze at the silver jubilee celebration joined in the call for the upgrading of the college to model University of Education.
Also, the former Vice- Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Boniface Egboka, said the college should be granted the autonomy to award degree in order to satisfy the increasing yearning of Nigerian students for higher education.
Egboka, who chaired the lecture, expressed satisfaction over the improved level of infrastructure in the college under the leadership of the incumbent Provost, Prof. Josephat Ogbuagu, saying the institution has developed the pedigree and capacity to become a university, with focus on vocational, technical and science programmes. According to Ogbuagu, enrolment into the college has increased progressively, especially with the introduction of the degree programmes in affiliation with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Bappa-Aliyu Muhammadu, stressed the need to focus on qualitative teacher education in order to provide quality teachers for the system. He called for clear definition of the professional standard of the teaching profession, which should be sustained through teachers’ association in the country