The Federal Government, on Friday, threatened to withdraw licences of Universities, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, and other tertiary institutions operating below prescribed standards by law.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, made the disclosure in Abuja when he met with a delegation from SSUCOEN over lingering and “disturbing” issues affecting members of the Colleges of Education sector.
This came as the Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education, Nigeria, called on the Federal government to ensure the immediate release of the N15 billion revitalisation fund approved for Colleges arising from the NEED Assessment exercise.
According to Nigerian Tribune, the delegation was led President of SSUCOEN, Comrade Danladi Ali Msheliza.
While responding to a comment by the SSUCOEN President about the poor state of some State-owned Colleges of Education across the country, he said that if it was not for Tertiary Education Trust Fund intervention, most of the Colleges would have been moribund.
He vowed to withdraw licences of the tertiary institutions that were substandard and found to have deviated from the mandates for which licences were issued to them.
He said: “I want to tell you that I have already discussed this with the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission and I know that this would have gone to National Board for Technical Education and National Commission for Colleges of Education. I want to make sure that before I leave this place, I withdraw licences of some of these institutions.”
The minister’s response promised that necessary steps would be taken to ensure the release of the N15 billion revitalisation fund to Colleges, just as he disagreed with the SSUCOEN President on the assertion that Colleagues of Education were being segregated.
On the banning of Staff Demonstration Schools, Adamu said the government would look into it, based on the explanation that the Colleges of Education Staff Demonstration Schools are a requirement for graduating students.
He also pledged that all the issues raised would be given due consideration and expeditious response.
The SSUCOEN President had earlier called on the FG to ensure the immediate release of the N15 billion revitalisation fund approved for Colleges arising from the NEED Assessment exercise.
He also demanded the resumption of the stalled renegotiation of the 2010 FGN/SSUCOEN Agreement. He accused the FG of segregating against Colleges of Education while noting that the Government had commenced renegotiation of agreements reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), leaving out Colleges of Education.
Msheliza, however, commended the Federal Government for payment of arrears of minimum wages for Colleges of Education Staff, affirming all members of the Union have received their payment.
He called on the Minister of Education to intervene in ensuring the restoration and mainstreaming of the staff of Demonstration Schools in Colleges of Education, saying the FG had erroneously stopped funding the schools because they were referred to as private schools.
Msheliza argued that the Colleges of Education Staff Demonstration Schools are a requirement for graduating students of primary Education studies (PES) and Early Childhood care education.
He also called for the reconstitution of the Governing Councils of Colleges of Education as well as pushed for quick passage of the Colleges of Education Amendment Act, said to have passed through 3rd reading in the National Assembly.