By; MOHAMMAD IBRAHIM, Kaduna.
National Teachers Institute (NTI) outgoing Director General Associate Professor Ladan Aminu Sharehu has categorically pointed out that the institute has every right to run undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for teachers to upgrade their academic qualifications from one level to another.
According to him, this can be done either alone or in affiliation with a university within and outside the shores of the country.
It could be recalled that National University Commission (NUC) recently announced that the institute has no right to issue degree certificate to its students, warning that all NTI degree holders would not be recognized.
The announcement by the NUC generated uproar across the country, particularly among students of the institute.
But the outgoing DG Sharehu assured the students that they have nothing to worry about because the institute has every right to issue or run degree programmes.
He disclosed this in his speech while handing over the institute leadership to the incoming Director General of the institute Professor Garba Dahuwa Azare in Kaduna.
“The recent onslaught of the institute by the Director of Public Relations of the NUC was very unfortunate. The institute has always been operating within the statutory mandate of trainin and retraining the Nigerian teachers at the three levels of education.
“To put the records straight, the combined effect of sections 3, 7, and 13 of the NTI Act, CAP. N79 LFN 2004 mandated the institute to run PGDE, Bachelors Degree programmes and any higher degree programmes either alone or in collaboration with any university or other educational institutions, using the open and Distance Learning (ODL) and hence the institute’s affiliation with Usman Dan Fodio University Sokoto (UDUS) in 1996 to 2012 and with National Upen University of Nigeria (NOUN) from 2013 to date.
“Let me state that the mandate of NTI has given it the right. To run undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for teachers to upgraduate their academic qualifications from one level to another. This can be done either alone or in affiliation with a university within or outside the shores of the country.
“To our utter dismay, the Director, information and Public relations of NUC, Malam Ibrahim Usman Yakasai who was formerly the Information and Public Relations officer of NTI before he transfered to NUC went on air to denounce the Bachelors degree and PGDE programmes of NTI in affiliation with NOUN and even went further to warn the students to desist from them as they were “illegal” and continued with the blackmail on the said NTI programmes on Radio, television and print and social media for two weeks.
“NTI did not just wake up one day and started the degree and PGDE programmes. The institute soughts for and obtained with UDUS and later NOUN. The detailed, signed affiliation documents are there as evidence,” he said.
The outgoing DG further commended the Ministry of Education given to the institute, saying as Educators they will not join NUC in a media fight “We are educators we don’t fight. But we are ready for correction,”
In his remarks, the new NTI Director General, Professor Garba Dahuwa Azare commended the good work of the outgoing DG for transforming NTI for the better.
According to him, ending impunity in the service of the nation through positive change which this government is all about, setting good personal examples through accountability and transparency in governance and entrenching rule of law to enhance positive development, by sitting up as leaders and thus making others sit up also in the discharge of their respective responsibilities were the major massage he brought to the institute.
By; MOHAMMAD IBRAHIM, Kaduna.