The Lagos State House of Assembly has begun debates on bills proposing conversion of two tertiary institutions, Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), and the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) to University of Science and Technology, and the University of Education respectively.
They argued that the two bills proposing the establishment of two tertiary institutions, a University of Education and a University of Science and Technology, were aimed at improving education standards at the tertiary level in the state.
The bills, which scaled second reading on the floor of the House presided over by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday, were committed to the House Committee on Education (Tertiary) to report back in two weeks.
Debating the bill, the lawmaker representing Alimosho 1, Bisi Yusuff, argued that the bill for a law to provide for the establishment of the university of Education, Lagos (UNEDLAG) was important as he suggested that it should also have provision for pre-degree programmes.
Yusuff also noted a provision in the bill that would make graduates be somewhat independent rather than search for jobs. “The inclusion of vocational training would also make the students become self-employed,” he said.
On his part, Sani Okanlawon, said that it had become important for the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and the Michael Otedola College of Education to be upgraded to a university.
“The society now rejects NCE and what is the benefit of going to a school that your certificate will not be recognised? Admission into this school is the lowest as only 18 applicants chose (ACCOED) as first choice in the last Universal Tertiary Matriculations Examinations (UTME). With the creation of this varsity, it will reduce the number of applicants seeking admission to LASU,” he said.
Also contributing, the lawmaker representing Eti-Osa 2, Gbolahan Yishawu, who agreed with his colleagues on the need to upgrade the two colleges of education in the state to a university, said that NCE was no longer popular.
According to him, the establishment of the university is timely, but “there is need to have a template to form the institution in order to avoid overlap.”
The chairman, House Committee on Information, David Setonji, while supporting the bill noted that the state had a high number of primary and secondary schools with fewer teachers and that the university would help resolve the challenge.
The Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1), who said he was excited about the planned upgrade, told his colleagues that he was a product of AOCOED and that he taught for five years with the certificate he got from the institution, adding the creation of a new varsity is a good thing. This bill takes care of the welfare of both lecturers and students.
Speaking about the bill, the lawmaker representing Epe, Abiodun Tobun, said that he was optimistic the proposed University of Education would produce good teachers if passed into law.
Concerning the proposed University of Science and Technology, the lawmakers expressed optimism that it would help provide manpower for the development of the state and the country.
In his contributions, the lawmaker representing Amuwo Odofin 2, Rauf Age-Sulaimon, suggested that courses in the humanities and legal studies should not be included in the institution’s curriculum as a University of Science and Technology.
While the lawmaker representing Kosofe 2, Femi Saheed, said that science and technology play vital roles in development, adding that the studies to be offered should take into cognisance the culture of the people.
He also advised that the university should be made to go into research on agriculture to reduce the high cost of food in the state and the country.