Afe Babalola advocates return of teacher colleges
Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola, has advocated re-introduction of Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), scrapped many years ago by the Federal Government.
Speaking at the opening of a workshop on Teaching and Learning Methods in Higher Educational Institutions at ABUAD, the legal luminary expressed fears that without such measures, many Nigerian graduates might continue to be unemployable.
Babalola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), described as a great mistake the scrapping of TTCs, which he noted as the first place professional teachers were exposed to teaching techniques.
The former University of Lagos (UNILAG) pro-chancellor said a return of such training institutions had become imperative in view of the growing rot in Nigerian schools.
He said the country must carry out a lot of radical reforms at the tertiary level of education, for its certificates to be valuable on the global scene.
According to him, it is wrong for those without teaching certificates to be allowed into the profession, saying this accounted for the decadence in the sector.
“Teaching is not just for anybody; it is for those who were trained in teaching methodology to be able to deliver optimally for better output from students. Unfortunately, this is not so in Nigeria; those without certificates in education also teach.
“No matter how good or brilliant one may be, they need to be trained and re-trained to be a good teacher. My experience as a pupil teacher 71 years ago and later vice principal made me to carry out a lot of reforms as a pro-chancellor and chairman of council of UNILAG.
“I made UNILAG to rank first in Nigeria. Again, I was nominated as the best pro-chancellor twice. ‘
So, when I established ABUAD, the mandate is to leave a legacy of excellence that will bring about qualitative education in Nigeria.’’
“For a teacher to be considered good, he must master his subject, take interest in the students and make himself accessible to students. That remains the best way to impact positively on the students. He must be confident without being overbearing. He must also be resourceful,” he said.
Meanwhile, former vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Michael Faborode, has advocated improved teaching methodologies in higher institutions.
The don said there was need for Nigerian universities to always train and re-train their academic staff in modern techniques of teaching.
Faborode commended ABUAD for setting the pace in the revival of the country’s citadels of learning, by exposing lecturers to basic techniques in teaching.
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