The recent commissioning of a multibillion naira Teachers’ Professional Development Centre by the Delta State Government at Owa Alero/Owa Oyibu in Ika Northeast Local Government Area of the state is a welcome development.
Teachers in the state will be trained on efficiency in presentation/course evaluation and record-keeping strategies at the centre.
Education is the bedrock of development couple with the fact that presently, the most valuable skill any nation can sell to the globe is knowledge. For the state to become a successful centre for the dissemination and distribution of best human capital resources across the nation, its handlers must urgently depart leisurely approaches to policies/reforms that cures the effect of an ailment while leaving the root cause to thrive, of which the Teachers’ Professional Development Center, could without bias, be likened to.
Without prejudice, Teachers’ Professional Development Center is laudable but not well thought out. If training and retraining of the manpower’s need in the state’s education sector in ways that will boost quality education of our children is the state government’s goal, we need to be holistic in approach.
As it calls for a re-examination of and taking a critical look at the process that throws up our teachers. The only possible solution to the current need is the transformation of one of the long existing Colleges of Education in the state-the College of Education, Agbor,( the same vicinity with the Teachers’ Professional Development Center), to a specialized University of Education to perform this role at the most fundamental level.
This suggestion and demand are by no means without a precedent.
Let’s not forget, the nation Nigeria has in the past had specialised universities such as University of Agriculture and Technology. The reasons for establishing such specialized institutions were to promote science, technology and agriculture in the country, likewise, the Agbor University of Education when approved will fortify teachers’ training.
More importantly, it will address permanently the tertiary institution imbalance spread in the state. Take as an illustration, in the delta central senatorial district alone, the following institutions of higher could be found. They include in no particular order; The main campus of the Delta state-owned university in Abraka with another campus in Oghara, Federal University of Petroleum Resources (Warri), Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom, College of Education, Warri. Such cannot be said of other senatorial zones.
Jerome-Mario Utomi wrote from Lagos