Conversion of Edo college of education into university leaves 30,000 out of higher education

Godwin Obaseki

Not less than 30,000 candidates who applied to study at the Edo State College of Education, Ekiadolor in the past four years have been denied admissions since the conversion of the school campus into a university. recalls that the Edo State Government had in 2015 used the site to host the then newly established Tayo Akpata University of Education by ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole.

Already, the Edo State is planning to reopen the school at a new site at Abudu, Orhionmwon Local Government Area in August but the college’s branch of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has raised alarm that this would fail.

Chairman, COEASU at Ekiadolor, Mr Fred Omonuwa said the institution had since its closure by the state government.

Omonuwa, who disclosed this in Benin while speaking with some journalists, said the possibility of the school resuming academic session next month of Edo State, as promised by the government is very far off.

He said the institution, before its sudden closure, was admitting not less than 5,000 to 6,000 students per academic session and that when the number is multiplied by the number of years it has been closed down, it would amount to about 20,000 to 30,000 students that have been deprived of their statutory chances to be admitted into the school.

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In his words, “A lot of Edo citizens particularly the middle class people for the past four or five years have been deprived basic education. We are looking at the region of between 20,000 and 30,000.

“In 2015 when they stopped admitting students, we were having up to 5,000 to 6,000 students, multiply it by the number of years, a lot of Edo citizens have been deprived and they are all looking. Nobody is talking.”

The COEASU chairman said that the decision to take the College of Education to Abudu was not a good decision due to lack of facilities.

“I don’t think the government is ready, politics aside, how can you think of taking a tertiary institution to a place where the largest hall can not take up to one hundred persons.

“Yes, they promised it is going to be a multi-campus system, that Abudu cannot take a department in the present day college of education, Ekiadolor, which of course we can even say it is inadequate.”

On the part of the chairman, Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education (COLBEN) chapter, Mr Ken Omoruyu, he said the union had written several letters to government seeking clarification on numerous issues that bordered on the status of the college.

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“When we talked about status, we are talking about who are we? Are we still college of education or the proposed Tayo Akpata University of Education, was the school captured in the past University tertiary matriculation examination,” he concluded

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