Abuja - A ministerial nominee, Professor Anthony Anwuka, said the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has turned the Colleges of Education into dumping grounds for rejected students.
Anwuka told the Senate in Abuja that the recent merging of all JAMB examination into the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) was responsible for the problem.
He said that the merging of the examinations for the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education had negatively affected training of teachers in the colleges of education.
"I have it on good record that about 85 per cent to 90 per cent of our students do indicate interests in going to the universities, and the rest shared between the polytechnics and the colleges of education.
"Sadly, what happens is that when they take these examinations and the results are released, JAMB first takes the blueprint of the result to the universities and allows them about one month to choose.
"Understandably, the universities take the very best, next they pass on what is left to the polytechnics to choose and they pick from whatever is left.
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"Finally, that list is passed on to the colleges of education where they pick the dregs; those that the universities didn’t want and the polytechnics didn’t want are what are sent to the colleges of education.
"There must be a total re-look at what is going on in the UTME to give a breeder to teachers’ education, to afford the teacher education sector in choosing the best," he said.
The nominee, who is being screened as the possible Minister of Education, said that the issue would be quickly looked at, if he was given the education sector to manage.
Anwuka, former Vice Chancellor of Imo State University between 2000 and 2005, said that there was an urgent need to declare a state of emergency in the nation’s education sector.
He said that the emergency should be declared in the area of infrastructure and ownership of educational institutions.
"There is need for synergy between the stakeholders, the learners, government and the industry, such that all parties will not be on different pages as to what is needed.
"We must develop a marshal plan based on well articulated programmes as listed in the APC manifesto.
"We must focus on those things so that we can get our bearings right," he said.
He advocated that crime fighting should begin from teaching children in schools that 'crime is bad and is punishable'.
Anwuka was also the Secretary to the State Government in Imo during Governor Rochas Okorocha’s first term.