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The establishment of Ahmadu Bello University, in Zaria in October 1962, was a clear recognition of the fact that by 1960 Zaria had become the citadel of learning in Northern Nigeria. Apart from the much older College of Agriculture, a Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology which were established by 1952, with its headquarters at Zaria and branches at Ibadan and Enugu, there was a strong School of Engineering and the Departments of Architecture and Fine Arts where the London Degree of B.Sc. Engineering and Diploma Certificates such as ARIBA (Associate of Royal Institute of British Architects) and D.F.A. (Diploma in Fine Arts) were already been awarded.
In 1959, examinations leading to the award of the Diploma in Fine Arts were moderated by the Slade School of Art, University of London. The first graduates of this programme in 1959 include Professor S. I. Wangboje and Messrs. T. A. Fachuyi, Cyprian Ihejiahi, J. K. Oyewole etc all over Nigeria. By 1961, the Goldsmith College of Arts, University of London took over responsibility for moderating the examinations leading to the Diploma in Fine Art.
In the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology existed a Department of Education under the leadership of one Mr. J. P. Kellanway who founded it in 1957. The Education Department for first time in Nigeria offered courses leading to the award of Diploma Certificates in Physical and Health Education, Nigerian Certificate of Education with special reference to teachers in Secondary Schools. Nigerian Certificate in Education with special reference to teacher’s training and supervision, and the Art Teachers’ Certificate Course (A.T.C). The diploma in Physical and Health Education Course which took candidates three years to complete, had the West African School Certificate or Higher Elementary Certificate (Teacher’s Grade Two Certificate) as the minimum entry requirements. The minimum requirement for admission into the Nigerian Certificate in Education course was the equivalent possession of two advanced level (A/L) papers, and it happened for only one year. It was a course meant to produce teachers, out of those who, though they had acquired their advanced papers, had no opportunity to continue their degree courses immediately. The Art Teachers Certificate course for teachers of fine art took candidates one session to complete and drew its students from those with Diploma in Fine Arts moderated by the University of London School of Art.
Professors David Adamu Baikie and Dr. J. B. Akolo, and Messer’s Uche Okeke, Demas Nwokp, Bruce Paul Onobrakpeya, Theophilus Ajayi etc who were Nigerians among the third set of graduates of the Art Teacher’s Certificate course in 1961. Earlier in 1960, Messers Y. Grillo, George, Talabi, Williams, A. Obiosebikam, Simoin Okeke, J. A. Adeko etc. had also benefited from the course. Among the earliest beneficiaries of the Nigerian Certificate in Education who enjoyed Northern Region Scholarships are Ambassador Oga Okeche. Alhaji Adamu Fika, Alhaji S. Bakari, Chief J. K. Saliu. Others include Professor P. C. Daudu, Sunday Adeleye, Dr. A. A. Imam, Professor Adeniyi Adaralegbe, Dr. D. A. Dalagun etc. By 1960 Mr. Toluhi formerly of the Institute of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, J. C. Omoruan, A. E. Leyae, B. Duhu etc obtained their diplomas in Physical and Health Education from the Education Department. Others included Funsho Adedu, Yemi Fadipe, Dr. Omo Osagie etc.
Thus, by the time of its establishment in October 1962, Ahmadu Bello University, inherited a strong Department of Education where Diplomas and Certificate courses were offered. Although up to 1962 the British Government and its colonial appendages had not seen the necessity for awarding a degree in Education, it was not possible to close down the department of Education with any government fiat because the different courses Offered had students who were already at various stages of their studies and it was only sensible to allow them to finish. For Example, the diploma course in Physical and Health Education was phased out only in June, 1965 when the last batch of students passed out.
As the Department of Education continued to exist, and in spite of the government’s lack of the required enthusiasm in education degrees, some ideas of integrating the programme into the new University System were formulated. Whatever bias the government had against producing people with degrees in Education there, it was clear that by 1962 when the University started, the problem of the acute shortage of qualified teachers in the Northern Region had become real, and as a result, when the University was founded in October, 1962, it was felt that the quickest and surest way of solving the problem of the shortage of qualified teachers was to encourage those going through the relevant degree programmes to advice, in addition, some professional courses in education were encourage to enable them become qualified teachers.
The reality of this situation forced the relevant policy making body in the Northern Ministry of Education in Conjunction with the authorities of the new Ahmadu Bello University to retain the Department of Education in a modified form, and located in the new Faculty of Arts. This marked the beginning of the development of the Present curriculum in Education because with the establishment and merger of the Department of Education with the Faculty of Arts in 1962 and the earlier one year courses of the Nigerian Certificate in Education were wound up and replaced with a new Graduate Certificate in Education, for undergraduates intending to become qualified graduate teachers and had to take it along with their degree programmes throughout the duration of their three years programme. The first group of students who benefited from this programme registered in the 1962/63 session and qualified in June 1965. They include Professor M. Adamu. Alhaji Bashir Tukur, Dr. Daniel A. Balogun, etc. Apart from the graduate certificate in Education course, a French Citizen of Polish extraction named Kapelinsky was in charge of French which was then lactated within the Department of Education.
Since the Graduate Certificate in Education course served the professional needs of only the Undergraduate students the increasing requests by the Northern Region Ministry of Education for a professional course in Education for graduate teachers who had left University without a teaching qualification led to the expansion of the curriculum of the Education Department by Introducing a one year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in 1967. The Art Teacher’s Certificate (A.T.C.) course was also part of the curriculum of the Department of Education until June, 1967 when it was merged with the P.G.C.E. In 1971, by decision of Senate, the P.G.C.E. which was jointly run full-time by the Institute and the Faculty of Education was changed to a part-time programme so as to avoid removing teachers from the classroom when schools were in session and for October to increase the intake. The sand witch course lasting two long vacation terms started with an intake of forty (40) students in 1972 as opposed to a previous maximum intake of twelve (12) students.
An important point to note here, is that up to June, 1967 all the courses run in the Department of Education based in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences were non-degree courses primarily meant to serve the professional needs of those graduates who had some teaching inclinations. As long as the goal appeared to be achieved, couples with the British and Colonial governments’ lack of enthusiasm in degree courses in Education there was no need for a radical development in the curriculum of the department of education during the first five years of the existence of Ahamdu Bello University. But the changing philosophy of Education and the increasing societal needs for educational facilities made it impossible for this situation to be sustained for long. In June, 1968 the Faculty of Education was created with Professor H. Impcover as its first Dean. The faculty of Education started with the Departments of Education and Library Science/studies. These two Departments were degree – awarding. Thus, began an era of rapid curricula developments in the Faculty of Education. It is on this basis that it can be argued that the founding of the Faculty of Education in the 1968/69 session become a significant turning point in the development of the pedagogical sciences at Ahmadu Bello University. The following survey of each of the Departments in the Faculty might help to illustrate this further.
The Faculty of Education shall be a world-class Faculty comparable to any other, engaged in imparting contemporary knowledge, using high quality facilities and multi-disciplinary approaches, to men and women of all race as well as generating new ideas and intellectual practices relevant to the needs of its immediate community,. Nigeria and the world at large.Go to Top
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Academic ProgrammesB. Ed. Arabic Education