From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Kwara State government has commenced the process of upgrading the three state-owned Colleges of Education to universities of education.
It listed the three colleges of education for upgrade into Universities to include; Kwara State College of Education, Oro; Kwara State College of Education (Technical), Lafiagi; and Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin.
Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, disclosed the plans on Wednesday, when he, alongside some State government officials, visited the headquarters of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), in Abuja.
AbdulRazaq revealed that most of the colleges of education which are state-owned were faced with management challenges including infrastructure, poor investment, and lopsidedness where the non-teaching staff are far more than the academic staff of the institutions.
He said that successful upgrade of the Colleges into Universities will assist in training and producing the needed manpower in the state, and also attracting additional intervention from the TETFund.
He commended TETFund for its massive interventions in both Federal and State public tertiary institutions across the country, saying that the presence of TETFund and its projects are conspicuous in all the institutions in the state.
TETFund Executive Secretary, Sonny Echono, in his response, pledged to help the state actualize its dream of converting some of the Colleges of Education in the state into Universities of Education, in addition to increasing interventions to tertiary institutions in Kwara State.
Echono commended the state for leading the north in education right from the colonial period, which has been reflected even in the number of institutions in the state.
On the issue of insecurity facing schools in the country, Echono said that TETFund has been engaging with security agencies, Ministries of Education and others to ensure safe education for the children.
He said: “We are doing our best to avoid the recurrence of the last week incidence in Kaduna State where hundreds of children were abducted by armed bandits. We are upgrading security infrastructure in all our beneficiary institutions, and looking at all the various areas of security.
“Kwara has been very useful to the country in providing institutions that train teachers from the basic level of education. We introduced a new intervention line last year that would upgrade security facilities in our beneficiary institutions.”