A bill to repeal the Federal Colleges of Education Act, 1986 and to re-enact Federal Colleges of Education, 2018, was read for the second time on Wednesday.
Barau Jibrin, the senator who led the debate of the bill, moved that the bill be amended to accommodate new provisions – one of which is to allow Federal Colleges of Education award first degrees, like universities.
Although, Colleges of Education currently award Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), Mr Jibrin said the issuance of the new degree would only be on the approval of regulatory agencies governing the institutions.
He also proposed a period of five years for Provost of the Colleges as against the previous four years which is similar to that of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities. Bursars and Registrars of Colleges have also been provided a single tenure of five years.
The bill further seeks the provision of two Deputy Provosts – one Provost for Academic and another for Administration.
It also seeks to increase promotional materials, trainings, benefits and welfare for lecturers in Colleges of Education, to the packages allotted to university professors.
The lawmaker explained that these amendments seek to stop the dichotomy between the federal colleges and universities.
Another bill passed for second reading is a bill to repeal the National Commission for Colleges of Education Act (No.3) of 1989 and to establish the National Commission for Teacher Education and other related matters.
The bill according to the sponsor, Mr Jibrin, will make the executive secretary of the National Commission for College of Education have a tenure of five years which will be renewable as contained in similar position in the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).
He said the commission’s age of retirement, welfare packages and other entitlements will be the same as that of NUC.
The Senate also read for the second time, a bill to provide for the establishment of the School of Mines and Geological Studies, Guyuk, Adamawa State.
The bill was initiated according to the sponsor of the bill, Ahmad Abubakar, following the shortage of skills and manpower faced in the mining sector.
“The challenge is more serious in northern states because only one state has such establishment located in Jos, Plateau State. It would provide courses for training, conduct research, work with stakeholders in the sector and it would create 3 million jobs by 2020,” he said.
Supporting this bill, a senator, Bala Na’Allah, stated that the cost implication to establish the bill is what Nigeria loses per week hence the need to establish the institution, while Barnabas Gemade canvassed for the establishment of a similar institution for the North-west.
The named bills were passed for second reading and referred to the Senate committee on tertiary institutions and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), to report back in four weeks.
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