NCCE Laments Dwindling Enrolment Into NCE Programmes

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A call has gone out to relevant authorities to put necessary machinery in motion to arrest the dwindling enrolment figures of
candidates into the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) programmes in the country.
This call was contained in the address of the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Paulinus Chijoke Okwelle when he paid a courtesy visit to the
National Headquarters of the Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) recently.
The Executive Secretary decried the
dwindling candidates’ enrolment into NCE programmes in Nigeria, stressing that the production of future teachers in the country is under threat if urgent remedial action is not taken.
According to the Executive Secretary concerted efforts had to be made by relevant agencies, including JAMB, to put in place necessary collaborations and
initiatives to boost the fortunes of NCE programmes in Nigeria.
As part of the remedial measures, Prof. Okwelle urged JAMB to devise separate and realistic entry requirements for Colleges of Education in the country as
against those for degree-awarding
institutions to boost enrolment.
According to him, “Uniform entry
requirements to tertiary institutions have adverse effects on the enrolment of students into NCE programmes in the country.
“Hence, NCE candidates should
not be forced to have similar entry
requirements with those seeking degree certificates. Or better still, consider organising separate qualifying examinations for candidates seeking admission into Colleges of Education.”
“Therefore, the Commission proposes that admission requirements into NCE
should allow for Pass in Mathematics for candidates seeking admission into Arts
and Humanities programmes as well as Pass in the English Language for those seeking admissions into Sciences, Vocational and Technical-based courses.”
However, he stated that such candidates must obtain credit passes in both subjects before graduation.
Similarly, he proposed that the NCE
certificate should be considered the only requirement for admission into the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programmes in the nation’s universities to encourage more entrants.
Besides, he also enjoined policymakers to consider the re-introduction of pre-NCE programmes to widen entry options and ensure ease of access, thereby increasing the figures of students.
Furthermore, he urged JAMB to consider granting special regularisation status to all pre-NCE candidates, who have passed
the pre-NCE placement examination.
Prof. Okwelle advised that all policy
considerations on the request for a waiver for all NCE programmes should be handled with the utmost necessity for the sustainability and relevance of the system considering the increasing the population of individuals, who need basic education and, at the same time complement the efforts of the government in reducing the ever-increasing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, expressed appreciation to the Executive Secretary, NCCE, for the visit.
He disclosed his special interest in teacher education as he had enrolled in an NCE programme at the start of his academic career even though he did not finish the programme.
The Registrar assured the Commission of his unwavering support, particularly on the outlined challenges to curtail the dwindling number of candidates enrolling for NCE programmes in the country.
He, therefore, informed the delegation that the Board would open a window for the regularisation of the newly- established COEs nationwide, which has sourced candidates internally with no JAMB registration for the 2022 Academic Session only.
He advised the Commission to encourage universities to mount Post-Doctoral Programmes in Education to encourage teachers in tertiary institutions with Ph.Ds without education backgrounds to
acquire teaching skills in education, which he said would enhance the teaching profession.

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