The National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) is yet to release the results of students enrolled in 2017 Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme due to administrative issues pertaining to university affiliation, this newspaper can report.
In an exclusive interview with EduCeleb.com in Kaduna on Friday, the Director of Examinations at the NTI, Bashir Mamman said a recommendation came from the National Universities Commission (NUC) that the 40 year old teacher-training institution decentralises its university affiliation for the PDGE programme.
The NUC is the government agency that regulates degree awarding institutions including universities and their affiliate institutions.
Prior to this interview, this platform had been inundated with reactions from a section of our audience who revealed that their results were not immediately accessible. While many were enthusiastic about enrolling in the NTI PGDE programme, a few others expressed worries about how soon their results would be ready.
EduCeleb.com recalls that between 2004 and 2014, entrants into the PGDE programme of the NTI were issued certificates of Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto (UDUS), where it maintained affiliation throughout the years. But in 2015 and 2016, certificates from the NTI degree and PGDE programmes were affiliated to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Mr Mamman said that was about to change as the system was being decentralised to reduce the “burden” on the schools. Nigeria has six geopolitical zones from which one federal university would each be affiliated to the NTI for the issuance of its PGDE certificates subsequently.
“The NUC advised us to extend affiliation so that we will have, at least, one university per geopolitical zone. They proposed six universities to us,” he said.
The NTI is expected to maintain its affiliation with UDUS in the North West zone for the PDGE once the arrangement is concluded. In the South West, its PDGE programme are to be affiliated with the University of Ibadan. For the North Central Zone, it is the University of Ilorin. Those registered in the South South and South East geopolitical zones will have their certificates affiliated to the University of Port Harcourt and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka respectively. Students in the North East would have their certificates issued by the University of Maiduguri.
The NTI director noted that Memorandums of Understanding were being signed with the respective schools towards them taking charge of certificate issuance as the various universities had given written approval to the proposed affiliation.
“All the universities have written to give approval to the proposed affiliation. In fact, it is the NUC that is even facilitating the approval. They advised us that with this multiple affiliation, we would have wider coverage instead of one university for the whole nation,” he said.
2017 PGDE results are ready but…
While identifying that the certificates for the 2017 PDGE programme were ready, he added that the process of the affiliation, which was already being finalised with the NUC would determine how soon students would have access to their certificates. The last step in that process is the proposed resource visit by the NUC.
“Results are already ready for long. But if we release them now, it is as if we are releasing them on our own (NTI is not empowered to do so).
“It is this transition that made the 2017 results not to be released to students. The NUC has finalised to do resource visit, which is the last process of the affiliation. Already, they have visited selected study centres. What is remaining is their visit to the NTI headquarters to evaluate the course materials that we use.”
EduCeleb.com earlier published a list of affiliated degree awarding schools, which are not originally universities accredited by the NUC. We noted that every degree programme in Nigeria had to go through the approval of the NUC.
A part of what the NUC does before determining whether an affiliated institution could award degrees is the resource visit, which the NTI official said was expected to hold soon. During the visit, which may be equivalent to an accreditation process, course contents, materials, facilities in the study centres, and the quality of staff of the institution are expected to be evaluated.
Mr Mamman told us that his institution was working hard towards ensuring that the process was completed soon. He said the date fixed for the visit to the NTI headquarters was in the last week of November.
“We are not the ones to give the certificates. It is the universities that would. A few of the universities yet to sign their MoUs are expected to sign it during the visit. Once the MoUs are signed, we would issue the results.”
Earlier results ready
Mr Mamman said that the situation affected only students registered in 2017 as students who registered earlier had been able to get their results and certificates.
“It affected the 2017 PGDE only. But (for) all other years, we don’t have any issue of results with them.”
“We have got over 25,000 signed certificates from Usmanu Dan Fodio University and distributed to all the states of the federation since October. There are those with the National Open University of Nigeria too, which are being signed too and they are about to complete the signing.”
But when this reporter pointed out that based on some feedback we got from our audiences that issuance results and certificates were still being delayed, he denied knowledge of any reported instances that had not been addressed saying that such were being dealt with on a case-by-case basis. He also disclosed that his office even had a task-force that handles such complaints when they emerge.
“I am not aware of that. I was appointed Director, Examination in 2017. On my appointment, I immediately constituted a task-force on students’ complaints. As at today, we don’t have a single complaint that we have not got resolved.”
“That taskforce was given that assignment solely and they have been delivering on that to the states. Probably, there must be communication gap somewhere. In recent times, the frequency of the complaints we receive have reduced. Even some weeks go without us receiving any complaints unlike before.
“We have really made an effort now, especially with the coming of our present DG. He was the one who established the Examination Department. Formerly, it was just a division. If there are (such issues of delays), I would have loved to see the single person with such complaint for the past three years so that our taskforce can easily check and let you know the state of things about that candidate.”
He said those that did not get their results in due time were those that did not complete their programmes with their colleagues.
“I can assure you that remaining students from 2015 and 2016 yet to get their results are those who could not graduate with their colleagues due to one reason or the other. It may be that they had carryover or they couldn’t complete their research project or teaching practice.”
“It is those with those issues that later when they clear their results that we now make a request for their certificates to be written. But all their colleagues that graduated without any issue, their results are given on time and they have been issued both the statement (of results) and the certificate.
“Those with issue of carryover, once they do their outstanding courses, we quickly process and send the results to NOUN for approval towards the issuance of their certificates. The Registry of our institute are following up with NOUN to ensure that they are completed.”
On the channel of lodging complaints, he said that such should be directed through state offices.
“Students with complaint should ideally lodge that through the state office. They pass a letter of complaint addressed to the DG through the state coordinator. Then, the state coordinator would now write a covering letter and forward to the DG who would then direct it to my office. As I said, we have a taskforce for complaint and they attend to it immediately.”
EduCeleb.com reports that the NTI is one of the teacher-training institutions listed in the National Policy on Education. It was established in 1978 to offer the then minimum entry qualification into the teaching profession, which was the Grade II Certificate. It also offers the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) that has remained the minimum qualification for teachers since 2004.
The NTI has been offering the PGDE programme through its study centres too since 2004. In recent years, it started running degree programmes too through the accredited centres too but is yet to graduate students through that.
NTI’s NCE certificates are still issued by it. While its PGDE programme will be with affiliation to the earlier mentioned universities, its degree programme is affiliated to NOUN.