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By_ Babatunde Kaka & Ronny Ikpoto
- …reports have emerged with a view to discrediting the readiness of the College of Education to follow through with the proposed transition.
Controversy and contestations have continued to trail plans by the Lagos State Government to upgrade the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED) to a University of Education in line with 21st century’s global best standards in education.
Eko Hot Blog reported earlier that Alara of Ilara Kingdom, Epe Division, His Royal Eminence, Oba Olukayode Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, Telade IV, while addressing stakeholders present at a public hearing organized by the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, made a fervent case for the establishment of University of Education, Lagos (UNEDLAG) in Epe.
The Bill, as gathered, is geared towards transmuting the existing Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija Epe and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), to a single entity, University of Education, (UNEDLAG) Lagos.
However, a conflict of interest lodged by the Oloto of Awori, Oba Olanrewaju, who insisted for the University of Education to be sited at the Badagry area of Lagos, has led to an impasse with regard to a decision on the distinctive location where the main campus of the university will be situated.
As the controversy and this tacit game of chess gradually brews to a climax, reports have emerged with a view to discrediting the readiness of the College of Education to seamlessly transition into a full-blown varsity capable of imparting the cadre of knowledge required in today’s contemporary dispensation.
According to a Vanguard report, the crises within the college range from the face-off between the management and staff unions, alleged non-implementation of the new minimum wage in full for the workers, breaching of the scheme of service as laid down by the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE among others.
The report also claimed that another bone of contention responsible for the infighting within the institution is the non-compliance with NCCE’s Scheme of Service for Deputy Registrars, Deputy Bursars and the Audit Cadre, which the staff are saying has stagnated their promotion over the years.
Complaints that the institution failed or refused to implement the template approved by the state government for the payment on the new minimum wage was also referenced.
However, in a contrast of fences engaging on the aisle, MOCPED Provost, Dr. Nosiru Onibon, has in no uncertain terms restated the readiness of the institution for the imminent transition.
Dr Onibon was speaking during the 7th inaugural lecture of the institution held on Thursday, 12th August 2021 at the College multipurpose hall, tagged “From Soil Back To Soil: Getting it Right,” delivered by Dr Peter Wusu Olugbemi, a Chief Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Education, School of Education, MOCPED.
The Provost while speaking in an interview with Eko Hot Blog, said that the unprecedented developmental strides in the College under his leadership has adequately positioned the institution for the planned upgrade.
Some of the projects outlined by the provost include the physical outlook of the College, the execution of 3 public toilets, a modern Home Economics department building, the aesthetic remodelling of the 3 gigantic Administrative buildings and the utmost priority placed on the general environmental cleanliness to improve the outlook of the college.
He also added that the College Management has paid up 5 out 7-month arrears his administration inherited.
“We listen to visitors when they come around and immediately we have means to intervene, we do that. In terms of Staff welfare, we have provided the necessary working tools to enhance service delivery. We have encouraged staff members to attend conferences, inductions and go for further studies. We inherited 7 months in arrears and within 3 years, I’ve paid off 5 solid months out of the 7 months,” Onibon said.
Speaking further, the provost averred that all hands are on deck to place the College in a vantage position to transmute into the proposed University of Education, (UNEDLAG), by the Lagos State Government.
Onibon also debunked rumours that the College is in crisis, noting that administrative scuffles in an institution of MOCPED’s stature is par for the course; but his leadership is exploring amicable and alternative ways to resolve them.
It remains unclear at this time what the ruling of the state government would be regarding the location of the main campus of the proposed varsity. However, as posited by Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo in his submission, the idea of siting the university along the Ijanikin axis would only exacerbate the traffic situation along the LASU-Ojo corridor at a time Lagos State is exploring creative solutions to dislodge the traffic conundrum in Africa’s most boisterous centre of commerce.
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Again studies have shown that the best universities in the world, including Nigeria, have often been situated in geographical locations where there is ample environmental serenity, away from the hurly-burly, topsy-turvy chaos of the metropolis. This is yet another unique quality Epe Division possesses, not to mention the fact that it would echo as unwitting to site two tertiary institutions in the state in proximity to each other as against evenly spreading them.
Ultimately, a critical, dispassionate evaluation of the pros and cons of this hornet’s nest will indubitably lean towards Epe as a more logical location for the institution. Nonetheless, there is a sense of expectation that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, as it so often does, will craft a solution that will be satisfactory to the involved parties and the generality of Lagosians at large.
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