information gathered by the News Desk of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal indicates that Colleges of Education are likely to be closed down in the coming weeks as a result of non-payment offeeding grants by the Government.
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Colleges Of Education To Be Closed Down
Sources revealed that most Colleges are highly indebted to suppliers as a result of non-payment of funds to these suppliers who supplied goods (food items) to the Colleges for the whole of the first semester, which spanned from January-April, of 2020/2021 academic year.
One of the Principals who spoke to the News Desk, on condition of anonymity, stated that “we are seriously handicapped. For the whole of the first semester, some of us took food items from our suppliers without giving them a penny. Schools have reopened again, students have reported and we have nothing in the warehouse to feed them. No supplier is ready to give out items on credit again’.
Another indicated that they used their students’ fees, meant for recurrent expenditure, to pay suppliers with the hope that the feeding fees will be released in the semester. Now funds to take care of recurrent expenditure (such as pay utilities, fuel, purchase of perishables to cook for the students, etc) is a big problem.
In a related development, GETFund has since the last quarter of 2019 not released any fund allocated for Faculty Development and Research for the Colleges. Every year, GETFund allocates a specific amount to all Colleges to support staff embarking on further studies and publications toward their professional development. What this means is that since 2019 till date GETFund has not released any allocation to the Colleges in that regard. This has created apathy and despondency among Staff in the Colleges. Staff cannot phantom why the Government is adamant about their professional development which is part of the transitional arrangement towards the upgrade of the Colleges.
Furthermore, the Principals indicated that the Government promised to provide some infrastructural facilities (i.e. Classrooms and Accommodation facilities) to take care of the increase in enrolment as the result of the free SHS policy. Based on that promise, most Colleges increased their enrolment in anticipation of the promise but to no avail. The situation has been exacerbated by the four-year initial B. Ed. A program where teacher trainees might have to spend four years on campus, unlike the Diploma program where only two-year groups stayed on campus. These have created an unbearable situation in the Colleges that has culminated in the blended learning currently ongoing in the Colleges, where some year groups stay home and have lectures online while other groups are on campus for face-to-face lectures.