The Ogun State Government scrapped the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, and renamed it Institute of Education. The government said it would be affiliated to the Faculty of Education, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago–Iwoye.
The seven-year-old TASUED, which began in 1987-88 as a College of Education, was transformed into a university in January, 2005, by former Governor Gbenga Daniel. The government also merged the four Information Communications Technology (ICT) polytechnics into one and renamed it Ogun State Institute of Technology (OSITECH), Igbesa.
The merged schools are Abraham Adesanya ICT Polytechnic, Ijebu–Igbo; D.S. Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori; Kensington Adebutu ICT Polytechnic, Saapade; and Ayo Otegbola ICT Polytechnic, Igbesa. The Ijebu– Igbo, Itori and Saapade locations will now serve as satellite campuses.
Speaking at the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, the state capital, the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Segun Odubela, and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Alh. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the changes were recommended by the committee set up by the government to look into the report of the Visitation Panel set up to examine the condition of state–owned tertiary institutions.
Odubela said: “TASUED has lost focus. Presently, it has more students on courses that are unrelated to education and gulps a lot of money from the government. We want to restructure our schools to be of first-class standard.” Olaniyonu said: “Ogun State has the highest number of higher institutions in the country. Why do we need to replicate so many of them?
“It will be better to have a very good OOU with a good Faculty of Education, than have to two universities that are poorly funded or equipped? “The changes are to enable us have qualitative and affordable education. We do not have to play politics with education. The government will take tough decisions when it is just and necessary.
“We made these changes to improve tertiary education, not because the government is broke. The Institute of Education, OOU and OSITECH would still be funded, but it is better to have one than so many.”
The announcement sparked a peaceful protest by the Students Union Government (SUG) of TASUED. About 30 of them stormed the Oke–Ilewo Secretariat of the Ogun State Council of the Nigerian Union Journalists (NUJ), led by the National Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr. Clement Olusegun; TASUED SUG President, Mr. Oyekanmi Abdulahi, and NANS State Chairman Mr. Mustapha Adewale.
Urging Governor Ibikunle Amosun to reverse the decision, Olusegun, a 300-level student of TASUED, said: “TASUED is the first specialised University of Education in Nigeria, the second in Africa and eight in the world. Merging TASUED with OOU would destroy the glory it has given to the state and Nigeria.”