By Gabriel Dike
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), in collaboration with the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), hosted a two-day workshop in Lagos reon how to improve teacher education in the nation’s colleges of education.
The workshop, with the theme: “Enhancing Pedagogical Skills and Curriculum Development for Quality Education Delivery in Nigeria Colleges of Education,” attracted many provosts, senior academic staff and some stakeholders.
In his speech, the Executive Secretary of TETfund, Arc. Sonny Echono, said the workshop is part of capacity building programmes that the fund organizes for its various beneficiary institutions.
He said the impact of the various interactions can not be over-emphasized and remain avenues for the exchange of knowledge and ideas between TETfund and the beneficiary institutions.
According to him, the workshop were conceived and organized to strengthen, equip, and reposition the institutions to understand and play their expected roles in nation building as well as fulfill their mandates with dedication and professionalism.
Echono said despite the expansion and development of the sector, the standard and reputation of the institutions continued to fall and decline in the face of the enormous challenges of national development.
“Today the issue of pedagogical skills and curriculum development cannot be shoved aside in the light of the realities driven by science, technology, information and innovation,” he stated.
The TETfund boss said to build the needed manpower, the nation must take the issues of pedagogical and curriculum development with the seriousness that each deserves.
He added: “You will agree with me that improvement and update in pedagogy skills and curriculum development is necessary for the nation’s education sector and for the overall development of the country if it is to meet up with the challenges of the 21st century.
“Stagnant curriculum and poor pedagogy skills will lead to retrogression in our quest for progress and national development.
Our nation cannot afford to stay behind while other nations are making advances and discover in various field, a time when other nations are rising and building great economics due to technological development and innovation”.
Echono acknowledge that there are challenges in both curriculum development and the attainment of pedagogy skills stressed that the problems are not insurmountable.
He hoped the workshop would stimulate debate on the issues raised and find urgent solutions to them while pledging to support initiative that would improve curriculum development and pedagogy skills needed in colleges of education.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCCE, Prof. Paulinus Okwelle, said the theme of the workshop was selected because of the need to produce world-Class teachers for basic education.
Prof. Okwelle explained that quality teachers are product of quality education, adding, “Serious efforts must be placed on producing qualified basic teachers for primary and junior secondary schools.”
The NCCE boss said attention must be paid to curriculum development and pedagogy for basic education. He explained that resource persons were carefully selected for the workshop.
Vice chairman, Committee of Provosts, Dr. J.A. Anene, acknowledged that the major challenges facing colleges of education is low enrollment of students.
Anene added: “Colleges of education have facilities and qualified manpower but we don’t have enough students. Team work is required to make colleges of education meet its mandate.”