From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

The National Association of Nigerian College of Education Students (NANCES) has appealed to the Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun, to urgently implement the recommendations of the 2016 staff audit report on Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu-Ijebu to save the institution from imminent collapse.

The body also expressed worry over the worsening standard of the institution following a protracted crisis between the management and some staff of the institution.

Abiodun, upon assumption of office in 2019 had set up a visitation panel to look into the crisis bedevilling the institution.

In its report, the panel which was headed by Prof. Kamaldeen Balogun, among other 32 recommendations, advised Abiodun to implement the 2016 staff audit report on the institution.

But, two years after the panel’s recommendations, the students lamented that the crisis rocking the state-owned institution had remained unresolved.

Addressing a press conference in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, on Thursday, the National Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NANCES, Adebowale Azeez said that ‘poor funding, inadequate subvention, infrastructural decay, non-payment of salary backlogs and incessant strike actions, among others have crippled the development of the institution.’

Flanked at the press conference by the state chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Damilola Simeon Kehinde, Azeez urged the state government to go back into negotiation with the staff of the institution to resolve the crisis amicably in order to avoid disruption of academic activities.

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‘Since the separation of Tai-Solarin College of Education (TASCE) from Tai-Solarin University of Education (TASUED), the school had been bedevilled with myriads of challenges.

‘Successive administrations have been unable to curtail the issues of poor funding, decreased subvention, incommensurate facilities, non-payment of salary backlogs, back to back strike actions.

‘The inability of the two successive administrations to find practicable solution to the TASCE dilemma severely complicated the issue up to the point of total closure of the institution.

‘On the emergence of Governor Dapo Abiodun administration, the government set up a committee to see to the effective resuscitation of the higher institution.

‘The Visitation Panel set up by the Ogun State government to look into issues surrounding crisis at the Tai Solarin College of Education, TASCE, Omu-Ijebu, through its Chairman; Prof. Kamaldeen Balogun had recommended urgent and full implementation of recommendations of the 2016 staff audit report as some of the issues confronting the institution had been resolved by the report.

‘Aside from the reopening of the college, very little have been achieved by the panel.

‘It is imperative that at this time, the state government further consolidate on its commitment to rejuvenate the educational sector by going back to the discussion table, particularly on the implementation of the 2016 staff audit report of Tai-Solarin College of Education. This is essential to prevent further damage to the institution,’ NANCES spokesperson stated.

He, however, commended the Provost of the institution, Dr Lukmon Kiadese, for managing the situation “despite seemingly insurmountable challenges”.