Provost, College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State, Dr. Mojisola Oyarekua, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to place emphasis on quality of teachers rather than tackling unemployment in his quest to employ 500,000 teachers to fortify the education sector.
Commenting on the proposed policy as a noble idea that would boost the education sector, the Provost said the move would affect the sector better if focus is put on how to ensure quality in the system rather than how to target reducing unemployment.
Oyarekua said the college is strengthening the entrepreneurial and vocational education in the institution in a way that each student would be exposed to one skill per session, including farming to serve as alternatives to white collar jobs after graduation.
Speaking in Ikere Ekiti yesterday, the provost said, “developing the education sector is beyond mere providing employment, but there should be academic quality because no education can grow beyond the qualities of teachers.
“There should be incentives for teachers, facilities must be provided, schools must be refurbished, and the environment must be made conducive for both teachers and students.
“If you just employ 500,000 teachers without laboratory equipment and necessary facilities, what quality would they give? It is high time we identified and articulate our plans for academic quality,” she advised.
On the dwindling interest for College of Education in Nigeria, Oyerekua said the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, has approved the request of the College to admit more students while quality assurance department has been established to ensure that quality graduates are produced in the institution.
To checkmate embezzlement of funds and prevent harassment of students by lecturers, the Provost disclosed that she established an anti-corruption section and fortified the public procurement unit to rise to the challenge of financial profligacy in the college.
“There is no way I won’t step on toes. One cannot be embezzling money or engaging in alteration of results or harassing students sexually without being challenged. That I will step on toes does not mean I should not fight corruption”, she said.
Oyerekua said she has hired the services of some consultants on how to revamp the moribund College farms and also working on how to increase productions at the College Ventures, being part of the strides to increase the internally generated revenue.
“We are looking at how to increase the qualities of NCE graduates in this College and that is why we are exposing our students to one vocation per session, so that they will have option after graduation.
“We are not comfortable with how they are discriminating against the NCE graduates in the labour market. Though, students will pass through practical agriculture in the course of the entrepreneurial course, but we are not going to make it compulsory. It is going to be by interest”.

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