This is the position of the Provost of the Federal College of Education (FCE), Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr. Ayodele Ajayi, who spoke on "Face the Nation" a radio programme of Rockcity 101.9 FM Abeokuta, Ogun State,.

Ajayi said the only effective solution is to allow the COEs to award bachelor's degrees, Daily Independent reports.

"What we are actually asking for is what has been done to some colleges of education such as Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo State that now run bachelor's degree programme as an autonomous institution and because of this they have the latitude to admit more students," Ajayi said.

According to him, merely upgrading COEs to universities would not help solve the problem of access to tertiary education which is a major issue in the country.

"That is what we are calling for not that the colleges should become a faculty of any university the reasons are obvious because no matter how large the college is if it is attached to any university, the National Universities commission will still peg the carrying capacity."

He added that attaching COEs to universities will create its own administrative problems.

"Administrative wise it will not be easy for effective administration to be deployed when the university also has its own challenges. If this college is upgraded that will solve the problems of inadequate spaces for students. I know that federal ministry of education is working to ensure that this is actualized."

The don said the bachelor's degree programmes run at COEs would take five years, additional two years after the three years of National Certificate of Education.

"Instead of having a four years programme we are proposing five years for bachelor in education and that will give us the opportunity to engage students in intensive teaching practice and improve the quality of teachers produced for our schools in the country," he added.

Ajayi is not the only one with this opinion.

In January, the Provost of the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED) Epe, Lagos State, Professor Olu Akeusola, said colleges of education should be upgraded into degree awarding institutions "to increase access and improve the quality of education at all levels.”