The stakeholders on Friday said that the importance of education to the development of any nation cannot be overemphasised during the Public Hearing on a Bill to Establish University of Education, Science and Technology in Ikere-Ekiti, Ikere Local Government Area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the public hearing organised by the Ekiti House of Assembly’s Committee on Education held at the Assembly’s complex, Ado-Ekiti.
In her address of welcome, Mrs Kemi Balogun, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, said the proposed university would provide quality training to enrich and improve the state, national and international human resources when it begins to function.
Balogun added that the Assembly is committed to the slogan,” Education for All” as emphasised in the 4-cardinal points of the Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration.
She said that the public hearing was organised to allow stakeholders make inputs before the eventual passage of the bill.
Also, the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr Adebimpe Aderiye, said that the current College of Education has all the necessary requirements for it to be upgraded to a degree- awarding university.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the College of Education, Chief Afolabi Ojuawo, and the Provost, Prof. Olufemi Adeoluwa, thanked Gov. Fayemi for the initiative.
They said that they were ready to produce graduates that would be self-reliant; who would not be job-seekers anymore, but be employers of labour.
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They added that the enrollment for the National Certificate of Education (NCE) programne is currently dwindling, so there is the need to upgrade the college a degree-awarding university to meet the current economic reality.
In his own goodwill message, the Ikere community representative, Prof. Olufemi Babatola, said that the opportunity the establishment of the university would bring to admission seekers would also increase the economic base of the state, the nation and the world.
NAN reports that there was a goodwill message from the Ekiti Traditional Rulers Council by its Chairman, Oba Ajibade Alabi, Alawe of Awe Ekiti, who was represented by the Onisan, Oba Gabriel Adejuwon.
Other dignitaries present at the event include : the Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Adejimi Adu, Mr Oke Alabi, the Administrator-General of the state Ministry of Justice, Ekiti College of Education Students’ Representative, Mr Joshua Folorunso, and others.