The mission of the Faculty is in tandem with the land grant philosophy of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The philosophy is an American innovation in higher education in which a state institution is established for the purpose of emphasizing agriculture, technology, commercial education and Home Economics. The Faculty of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka is the first land grant Faculty of Education in Nigeria, in the defunct British Common Wealth of Nations. In keeping with its land grant ideal, the Faculty’s academic programmes were planned to meet manpower needs of Nigeria. This is the main driving motive behind mounting of such programmes as Vocational Teacher Education, Home Economics, Agricultural Education and Business Education. Faithful to its land grant philosophy, the Faculty blended land grant ideals represented by such institution as Michigan State University (MSU) and SUNT-B (State University of New York at Buffalo) with the classical tradition of British Universities represented by Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge). The over-arching aim was to distil the best from orthodox Universities and blend them with the peculiar Nigerian situation in order to evolve a programme relevant to the aims and aspirations of Nigeria as one of the founding fathers of the University, Dr. Ikejiani would argue. The Faculty ‘ab initio’ lays emphasis on academic excellence according to classical concepts of higher education and vocational excellence according to modern views of university education.
The Faculty in almost 55 years of existence has carried out investigations into the quality and quantity of teachers needed in Nigeria. It has carried out researches into the prevailing practices, persistent problems and nagging issues in educational administration and planning. A lot of studies have been conducted in content and methodology of teaching both in teacher training centers and in secondary schools.
Furthermore, the Faculty with its allied units has grown tremendously over the years. It has extended its operations on various fronts and has granted affiliation to various Colleges of Education (COEs) and Polytechnics. The Faculty undergraduate programmes are now domiciled in six Affiliate Colleges of Education.
These COEs are as follows:
- Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo Staste.
- Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State.
- Yaba College of Technology, Yaba-Lagos, Lagos State.
- College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State.
- Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku, Rivers State.
- College of Education, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
It is perhaps interesting to note that the Department of Health & Physical Education of the Faculty of Education is a ‘primum mobile’ in Africa. It is a pioneer in Health and Physical Education in Africa. There is hardly any institution of higher education in Nigeria teaching Health and Physical Education courses in which graduates of the Faculty are not found in key positions.
The Faculty also strives to give a need-driven approach to its programmes. For instance, in order to combat mass illiteracy, the Faculty established the Department of Adult Education and Extra-Mural Studies. This department has produced experts for the implementation of mass literacy programmes.
The Faculty has consistently excelled in the following areas:
- Manpower output.
- Research in indigenous educational problems.
- Innovative Vocational Teacher Education (now Faculty of Vocational Technical Education).
Professor Uju Clara Umo
Dean, Faculty of Education.