Transforming Mid-Point Education in Gombe

By BEN NGWAKWE, Gombe,

The challenges of managing or developing mid-point education in human capital development in Nigeria are seldom given the needed attention. Apparently, the tertiary institutions that mediate between the secondary school and the university are hardly considered as important as the transition from the secondary school to the university. Accordingly, the college of education, polytechnic and other certificate and diploma awarding institutions in Nigeria are often treated as insignificant in the scaling of education in the country in spite the role of this education medium plays in providing skilled technical manpower for the economy and other establishments.

The Registrar of the Federal College of Education (Technical) Gombe, Alhaji Umar Muhammed Bello, took up the responsibility of the administration of the College from the background of the challenges of mid-point tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Alhaji Bello since occupying the office of the Registrar in the College has shown commitment to raising the standard and quality of learning in the College, including ameliorating facilities and welfare of staff to provide enabling environment conducive for the development of human capital in Gombe State through the College.

The Registrar, working on the virtues of discipline and morals in the community within the jurisdiction of the Federal College of Education (Technical) Gombe, put machinery in place to curb the menace of cultists and enforce zero tolerance for cultism in the College, including other forms of misconduct and social vices on campus. The Registrar put up a strong check against drug abuse, examination malpractice, incidence of rape, students victimization or extortion by lecturers, pilfering, as well as getting the College to insist on strict adherence to prescribed dress code and ethics in the College.

Working on the environment conducive for learning and intellectual empowerment, Alhaji Bello encouraged the provision of requisite facilities and infrastructures in the school. These include modern classrooms, lecture theater, sport facility, computer center, electronic learning (E-learning), vocational centre, among others.

Apparently, the Registrar has elevated the Federal College of Education (Technical), Gombe, to a model of reputable institution of pace setters in the education sector of the country, with enhanced quality education for the tutelage and development of future leaders and quality manpower for public and private sectors human resource needs.

The Registrar, Alhaji Umar Muhammed Bello, draws current for his administrative prowess from the cumulative years of rising from several positions in his public service career. Alhaji Bello has passed through several middle rank positions to rise to the top; some of which include Administrative Officer 1, Assistant Registrar, Admission Unit; Senior Assistant Registrar, Secretary, Directorate of Prelim – 2003 to 2006; and Principal Assistant Registrar, Establishment/Council Affairs 2006 to 2009.

Alhaji Umar Muhammed Bello, subsequently, became Deputy Registrar, Establishment/Council Affairs – 2009 to 2012; Deputy Registrar, Students Affairs; and, thereafter, Registrar of the College in 2017.

Since 2017 Alhaji Bello has taken the College through phases of remarkable advancement to make the Federal College of Education (Techical), Gombe, competitive with other institutions of same status in the country.

The Registrar, Alhaji Umar Muhammed Bello, has participated in various conferences, seminars and workshops which boosted his capacity building for leadership and his cumulative experience in public administration. Some of these include Administrative Skills and Capacity Building for Higher Productivity in Tertiary Institutions, organized by the Institute of Corporate Managers and Human Development in Kaduna in 2015; Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions organized by the Digital Bridge Institute (International Centre For Information and Communication Technology), Gombe in 2015; Freedom of Information Act organized by Federal Ministry of Justice, Kaduna 2015; Labour General Services on Federal Character organized by The Presidency, (Federal Character Commission), 2014, Abuja; General Office Ethics, Practices and Procedures for effective and efficient office management organized by TETFUND,  2013 in Gombe.

Others include National Insurance Health Scheme organized by Legacy Consult 2013, Abuja; Records Management Best Practices organized by Centre for Public Private Partnership, Kaduna, 2011; Leadership, Productivity and Work Ethics organized by Conference of Registrars of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (CORECON) in Kano, 2008; Capacity Building Workshop organized by Research and Development Committee under the MDGs Project, Gombe, 2007; Joint Education Stakeholders Action Coalition (FESAC) Consultative Conference organized by Exams Ethics International, Abuja, 2010; A ‘5’ day Retreat for Registrars of Colleges of Education organized by Conference of Registrars of Colleges of Education in Nigeria, Lagos 2018.

The Registrar deployed his experience to make immense contribution to the transformation of the College as a pact-setter in the Northeast zone and Nigeria.

The Registrar, Alhaji Umar Muhammed Bello, also engaged additional responsibilities in the service of humanity. He was Secretary of the Panel of Investigation on Anti-Kalare invasion into the College Premises on Monday, 4th June, 2012, which led to the death of one student and three other students sustaining various degrees arising from gunshot injuries on 2012; Secretary of a Committee set up by the College Management/Academic Board to investigate the June 9th and 10th Students’ Riot at Federal College of Education (Technical), Gombe, 2016; he has been Secretary, College Governing Council from 2017; as well as Secretary, College Management from 2017; Secretary, Academic Board from 2017; Secretary, College Expanded Management Committee from 2017. Others include Member, College Tertiary Institutions Students Health Insurance Programme Committee 2012 to 2017; Member, College Security Committee 2012 to 2017; and Secretary, Students Disciplinary Committee, 2012 to 2017.

The Registrar, Alhaji Umar Muhammed Bello, has made indelible footprint in the development of tertiary education in Gombe State and is determined to do more.

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