Staffing Patterns of State Colleges of Education Libraries in Nigeria
Onifade, Gabriel Olatunde, Onifade, Fehintola Nike, Library Philosophy and Practice
The College of Education system is one of the tripods of tertiary education in Nigeria and it has the primary role of training teachers who will be awarded the minimum teaching qualification of Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE). This certificate qualifies one to teach in junior secondary schools and technical colleges in Nigeria and it takes three years to complete. These teachers' institutions were formally known as Advanced Teachers' Colleges and were affiliated to different universities in Nigeria. They were later transformed into Colleges of Education under the supervision of one umbrella body known as the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) established in 1989. There are 64 colleges of education in Nigeria, classified according to their ownership; hence, we have 20 federal, 39 state, 1 military and 4 private colleges of education. The state colleges of education are established and funded by their respective State governments. (NCCE, 1996, NCCE, 2002).
Education has been described as the bed rock of every society and the tools for nation building, therefore for qualitative education to be achieved; the supply of teachers must be adequate in quantity and quality (Adegbesan 2010). Ukeje (1995) emphasized that education unlocks the door to modernization, but it is the teacher who holds the key to the door. In corroborating this, Gambo (1999) argued that "the Nigerian teachers must be intellectually, conscientiously, highly motivated and professionally sound individuals that are capable of discharging their professional obligations to the nation. As a result such individual must be ever learning, up-to-date in knowledge, skills and ideas and very adaptable to changing needs and situation.
In recognizing the vital roles of teachers, the Federal Government of Nigeria stated in its National Policy of Education that teachers' education will continue to be given a major emphasis in all the nation's educational planning efforts (Federal Republic of Nigeria 1989). Jekayinfa (2010) traced the origin of teachers' education to the beginning of western education in Nigeria when the first teachers' college known as 'The Training Institution' was established in Abeokuta in 1859 by Church Missionary Society. The school was later moved to Oyo to become the St Andrew College and later upgraded to be the Oyo State College of Education. Later on the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) was established by Act 3 of January 1989 and was amended by Act 12 of 1993 as a completion of tripod of excellence in supervision of higher education in Nigeria (NCCE online 2010). This commission provides accreditation services for Colleges of Education and maintains standards through periodic accreditation visits.
Sanusi (2006) observed that the Colleges of Education can not accomplish their tasks without the back-up of relevant and functional libraries. Hence, the National Commission for Colleges of Education mandated all the Colleges of Education to have functional libraries in order to achieve their academic purpose. These libraries have the goals of assisting their colleges by providing learning and reading resources in order to achieve the objectives of producing well molded teachers in their chosen disciplines. However, to be functional and successful in its operations, a library needs skilled, qualified and adequate human resources to make up the staff (Egunjobi 2006). Arugbayi (2009) also corroborated that the strength of a good educational programme is not the beautiful buildings, adequate equipment/facilities, sound curriculum but the quality and quantity of the staff. In other words, staff that will build up and maintain the collection of a library as well as provide various services to the students and academic staff of a college is indispensable in a library. Oriowo (2001) contended that the success or failure of a library depends on the skill and abilities of people who make up the staff. …