Former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, has bemoaned the scrapping of Teachers Colleges, that used to produce Grade two teachers, because ”the certificate prepared many of us for success in Colleges of Education that produced many life teachers”.
Aliyu made this assertion on Sunday, in Sokoto, at a convocation lecture, at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto (SSCOE), to commemorate its 50th anniversary and 22nd Convocation ceremony.
In the lecture entitled “The place of Colleges of Education in the development of Nigeria”, Aliyu said the topic was imperative in the light of the many challenges that faced the education sector, compounded by the scrapping of Teachers Colleges.
“Some of us see this cancellation of the Grade two teachers’ programme as making the Colleges of Education a last resort for those who could not make it to universities and other first choice tertiary institution.
“In addition, many might probably think that this is not the best of times to discuss education in Nigeria with all the issues of Boko Haram, bandits and banditry, kidnapping, ASUU strikes and COVID-19, among other challenges.
“However, it is rather unfortunate that the time we need more educated and skillful citizens is the time that it’s almost difficult to provide for adequate education,” he said.
Aliyu added that whenever Nigeria chose to have quality education, the society, communities and the country would be better for it, especially as “education generally determines the growth, the progress and development of a person, an organisation, a society and in fact a country.
“However, you cannot have quality education unless you create the right environment for teaching and learning to take place. This includes having well trained and retrained teachers.
“You must have core teachers who love teaching, who love their children and pupils, who are satisfied with their place in the society,” he added.
He commended Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State for his foresight in declaring emergency on the education sector in the state.
Earlier, the Sokoto State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Bashir Garba thanked the former governor for finding time to grace the convocation of the college, saying that the gesture was of immense importance, not only for the institution but for the entire people of Sokoto State.
Also speaking, the Provost of the SSCOE, Dr. Muhammad Hakimi, appreciated the support and commitment of the Sokoto State government to the uplifting of the college’s standards.