Akin Akande, Abuja
In order to ascertain the state of facilities and infrastructures as well as their needs, the Federal Government has constituted NEEDS assessment committees for all the public polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the country.
According to the Supervising Minister of Education, Barrister Nyesom Wike, who inaugurated the committees on Monday alongside Governing Boards and Councils for parastatals and institutions under Federal Ministry of Education, the Committees are to carry out a qualitative assessment of the critical needs of all publicly owned Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
He noted that the Committees are expected to make necessary recommendations that would transform the physical, academic and social fabric of the institutions into centers of excellence in teaching, learning, research and service to their immediate communities.
The Federal Government had February 21 last year inaugurated a NEEDS assessment committee for all public universities with a mandate to look into the state of the universities and come up with actionable recommendations to reposition them.
The Committees are expected to among other functions carry out the followings: carry out a detailed inventory and appraisal of all existing physical facilities, resources for teaching and learning in the polytechnics and colleges of education with particular reference to their adequacy, quality and relevance.
They are also to examine the quality of existing academic programs offered in each of the institutions and determine their relevance and also conduct audit of academic and non-academic staff.
The audit must also include students and their programs at all levels and identify the institutions that are involved in approved affiliations with others or running part time programs and number of students enrolled under such programs and affiliations.
The Needs Assessment Committee of Polytechnics is chaired by Mrs. Fatima Ahmed while that of Colleges of Education is chaired by Mrs. Hindatu Abdullahi.
Former Minister of Education and former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Ahmadu Ali, was also inaugurated as the Chairman of National Universities Commission (NUC) Governing Board, while Mrs. Yejide Ogunde was also inaugurated as chairman National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) Board.
Others were Professor Greg Iwu for Teachers Registration Council (TRCN); Chief Emmanuel Edohoeket, Nigeria French Language Village; Dr. Tosin Awolalu, Chairman Nigerian Institute for Nigerian Language.
Meanwhile, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Education, Hon. Aminu Suleiman, at the inauguration ceremony, urged the constituted committee members to go to the respective institutions and make recommendations that would be implementable by government.
Speaking against the backdrop of the current strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), over the implementation of the 2009 agreement, he said government could not afford to go toy with the fortunes of education by acceding to pact it knows it cannot honour at the long run.