Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ogun scraps Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijebu-Ode

From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Abeokuta

THE Ogun State government yesterday announced the scrapping of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijebu-Ode.        



The university, according to the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. John Olusegun Odubela, who spoke with journalists in Abeokuta, is now affiliated to the Faculty of Education of the state-owned Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, as an institute of education.

Odubela, who spoke in company of his counterpart in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, disclosed that the four Information Communications Technology (ICT) institutes in the state have also been merged into one to be named Ogun State Institute of Technology to be cited at Igbesa, in Ado/Odo-Ota Local Council Area of the state.

He explained that the government's decision was based on recommendations of a panel set up by Governor Ibikunle Amosun to find ways of improving the standard of education in the state.

Worried by the falling standard of education, Amosun's government on assuming office last year, set up a visitation and fact-finding panel under the Chairmanship of Justice Ademola Bakare (rtd), to identify problems confronting higher education in the state and proffer solutions to tackle them.

The Tai Solarin University of Education used to be Tai Solarin College of Education, which trained students for the National Certificate in Education (NCE), until the immediate past administration of Gbenga Daniel turned it into a university of education.

The government's decision, however, elicited protests from a section of the students who stormed the Ogun State Press Centre yesterday to register their anger. Numbering about 30, the placard-carrying students called on the government to rescind the decision.

Some of the placards the protesting students carried yesterday read: "Don't jeopardise our future"; "We are crying out"; "If you kill TASUED, you kill our future".

Their spokesperson, Mr. Oyekanmi Abdullahi, insisted that since it was a special university to train professional teachers, it should be retained.

But Odubela said the university has lost its focus, insisting that only 40 per cent of the students are offering education-related courses. He said the school authorities have been directed not to admit new students but that they should allow those already admitted complete their programme.

His words: "Most of the courses being offered in the institution are outside the aim of setting it. This means the university has lost its focus. More than half of the courses are not related to education. If we have a university, it must be of high standard".

The commissioner insisted that since the government's policy of education is "Qualitative and affordable education", it could not afford to run education anyhow.

The last administration in Ogun allegedly established the four ICT institutions in different parts of the state without proper funding and adequate infrastructure.