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Declining enrolment in NCE programmes threatens COEs’ sustainability – NCCE

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle, said the declining enrolment in National Certificate Examination (NCE)…

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle, said the declining enrolment in National Certificate Examination (NCE) programmes in Colleges of Education poses a threat to the sustainability of these colleges and the overall quality of teacher education.

During a retreat for the newly inaugurated chairmen and members of the Colleges of Education (COE) governing councils in Abuja, Prof. Okwelle explained that various factors contribute to the enrolment decline.

These, he said, include the perception of teaching as a less attractive career option and competition from other tertiary institutions. To tackle this issue, Prof. Okwelle urged the governing council members to adopt a multifaceted approach. He said this should include enhancing the appeal of teaching, promoting it as a rewarding and noble profession through targeted campaigns and incentives, and improving the quality of NCE programmes to ensure they are rigorous, relevant, and aligned with contemporary educational needs.

Prof. Okwelle also identified inadequate funding as a major challenge affecting the development and smooth operation of the colleges. This financial shortfall, he said, impacts infrastructure development, staff welfare, and the overall quality of education.

He emphasized the need to explore innovative ways to secure additional funding and make optimal use of available resources.

“It is imperative to underscore the importance of adhering to the laws that establish Federal Colleges of Education.

“These laws are the foundation upon which our institutions are built, providing the framework for governance, operations, and academic activities. Compliance with these regulations ensures consistency, fairness, and integrity in the educational system,” he said.

Uchenna Uba, Director of Colleges of Education at the Federal Ministry of Education, who represented the Minister of Education, stressed that the council members’ contributions would directly impact the development of educators, who in turn would positively transform the minds and futures of many young Nigerians.

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