By Joseph Ushie
Disturbing words on the streets allege that some persons who are jostling for the Office of Provost of the Federal College of Education, FCE, Obudu are being denied a chance to be considered for the job due to the reliance on an extant rule, interpreted to exclude capable hands from occupying the said office.
For the avoidance of doubt, the revised condition(s) for Service in Colleges of Education Rule 2.8.1 (i) require that the candidate must be a Chief Lecturer, this however, DOES NOT infer that such a lecturer must have been a chief lecturer in the same college, it is even more so, because the position is equivalent to a Senior Lecturer in the university.
If this alien culture is introduced and allowed to thrive, it will deal a great blow to the cross fertilisation of ideas and the need to oftentimes, employ capable hands to serve in the academic world. The veracity of the said “letter” prohibiting external consideration is still in doubt as such practice has never been considered anywhere in a public institution anywhere in the country.
There is no gainsaying that, it is not new to have qualified personnel applying for advertised jobs from different universities wherever a vacancy is advertised, provided that such a person is qualified for that office.
Most candidates having responded to the advertisement for the job earlier on and even undergone screening and received the necessary endorsements from all quarters including the academia will be unjustly denied participation if the rule is politicized by a greedy few to the contrary.
The Federal College of Education Obudu is in dire need of a complete reform and the Management and Board must look past the antics and politics of sentiments to allow for a competition of resùme and experience to define who gets to serve as Provost.
The world over, level headedness is allowed in the academic environment for infusion of global knowledge into administration. This can be further seen in the Cross River State College of Education Akamkpa where the present Provost was appointed from the Faculty of Law in the University of Calabar, Unical. Even the serving Vice Chancellor of the University of Cross River State, UNICROSS, came from the University of Calabar. This external acceptance is allowed in line with best practices.
Furthermore, one would wonder how FCE Obudu which is affiliated to the University of Calabar as a degree awarding institution will reject applications from the same mother institution that has played the role of a mentor to the College, denying applications from candidates, most of whom have served in higher capacities as directors, departmental heads, faculty heads and in other capacities providing landmark leadership in the process.
The idea by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, to pressure the Governing Council of FCE Obudu to exclude candidates who have been endorsed at various levels should be totally discarded as this would not give room for the needed competence and merit system needed in the College. The Chairman and members of the Council are called upon to listen to public outcry from the voices of the masses to ensure he is not coaxed into accepting what is not suitable for the progress of the institution.
Joseph Ushie is a concerned Cross Riverian as well as a 2004/5 alumnus of the Federal College of Education Obudu.
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