Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has restated the desire of his administration to support education from basic to tertiary levels.
This, the governor noted, was exemplified by the creation of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), an institution established nearly 25 years ago, with a mandate to train teachers at the basic level.
He spoke during the fourth convocation of the institution on Thursday, last week.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by the Special Adviser on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, praised the founding fathers of the institution, particularly the late Michael Agbolade Otedola, under whose tenure as governor the college was established.
He said: “As you are aware, this college was established in December 1994 to train teachers for the primary schools in Lagos State and beyond. I am glad to note that this institution has, to a large extent, achieved this purpose as teachers produced in this college have been found worthy of the certificates issued to them through their performance at the basic level of education across states of the federation. It is therefore pertinent at this point to acknowledge the vision of the founding fathers of the college.
“Let me use this opportunity to assure you of the continued support of the government to strengthen the capacity of the college to improve significantly on its achievements. We are also committed to enhancing the status and prestige of the teaching profession through adequate reward for their efforts and recognition of exceptional performance.”
Sanwo-Olu, who congratulated the graduands, admonished them to see their NCE certificates as a ‘symbol of communal trust’ to inspire the next generation of leaders.
“As you return to the society, I want you to think of how you can re-invest the skill you have acquired here into making the society a better place,” the governor added.
The Provost of MOCPED, Dr Nosiru Onibon, noted that 2,805 part-time and full-time students, cutting across 2013/2014; 2017/2018; and 2012/16 sessions, took a bow from the institution.
Onibon urged the government to fast-track the proposed upgrade of MOCPED to an open and distant learning (ODL) branch institution.
“I am proud to announce to you that with all moral and financial support that the state government has been giving this college, we can successfully transmute into a full-fledged open and distant learning (ODL) university. We already got the approval of the immediate past executive council of the state on this. I am proud to say that our accrediting agency- National Council for Colleges of Education – has at various times visited us and had attested to the fact that the college has the capacity to metamorphose into a university of education.
Since he came on board last year, Onibon noted that MOCPED has improved on information and communication technology (ICT) delivery, made classrooms more conducive for teaching and learning; commencedcomputer-based test for some general courses, ensured uninterrupted academic calendar, and turned out the first set of teachers certified by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria.
Others, he said, include clearing backlog of students’ results, creating a digital library to complement the traditional one, remitted all salary deductions, engaged in human capacity development initiatives and paid three-month promotion arrears, among others.
Onibon said the institution still faces some challenges ranging from increase in monthly subvention, offsetting over N800 million debt, prompt release of capital expenditure, improving road network, slow release in capital expenditure, fulfilling the college master plan, having a more befitting main gate, perimeter fencing, drainage system, as well as landscaping, among others.
Onibon thanked the government for giving MOCPED a Governing Council comprising technocrats who have been directing the institution aright.
He thanked the graduands and the academic board on whose shoulder rests the responsibility of academic programmes.
The event also witnessed presentation of awards to some distinguished personalities. They include: Oba Babtunnde Olaogun Ogunlaja, Aladesoyin of Odo-Noforija; Chairman of Lagos SUBEB, Dr GaniuSopeyin, among others.