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Although the University of Ife Planning Committee had given thought to and decided in favour of the immediate establishment of a Department of Education on founding the University, and in spite of the Provisional Council’s agreement to include such a department of education within the first quinquennium development plan of the University, it was not until after five years that the foundation of the now defunct department of education and later the faculty of education itself was laid.
Professor A. Babs. Fafunwa was appointed in October 1966 to plan the development of a Department and Faculty of Education at Ife. The first teacher education courses were started in 1967/68 session in the new Department of Education, which was organized as an academic unit in the Faculty of Arts.
By October of 1967, the Provisional Council had approved the creation of a Faculty of Education in the University constituting the following four units:
Physical Education, as an academic subject, thrived initially in the Department of Education from 1969/69 till the end of 1972/73 after which the Senate of the University constituted the unit into an autonomous Institute of Physical Education (outside the Faculty of Education) with its own academic board of studies. The Institute has since the 1975/76 session become an integral part of the Faculty of Education while the School of General Studies had been dissolved with effect from July 1, 1976 and the general studies courses offered from the sponsoring faculties. The Faculty of Education has since October 1975 included the Department of Education Technology which was previously an autonomous service unit then known as the Audio-Visual Centre.
By a re-organisation proposed by the Faculty and approved by the Senate, the Department of Educational Foundations and Counselling came into limelight on March 1, 1978. With this new arrangement, the Department of Educational Foundations and counseling is afforded the opportunity to solidify its postgraduate programmes in Philosophy, History, Sociology, Psychology of Education, Comparative Education and Guidance and Counselling. Its objective is to prepare those who chose career in teacher education at all levels and to prepare specialists in all areas of education including research into various aspects of educational practices and existing man-power relations. The Department is assigned all of the foundation courses in Parts II, III, and IV and a few other specialized courses in Sociology of Education, Comparative Education, Guidance and Counselling and History of Nigerian Education.
The initial Ife undergraduate degree structure was an adaptation of the Ashby Commission recommendations on the training of secondary level teachers for Nigeria. It also fits into the combined honours degree programme of the University of Ife. The structure enables a student to offer two approved teaching subjects with education (as an academic and professional subject) in the first two years of a three-year degree programme, and to offer in the final degree year one teaching subject with education to qualify for a classified honours degree in education with specialization in the particular subject area. Basically, this structure permits students to spend two-thirds of their instructional time concentrating on the two teaching subjects normally offered in the academic departments and the remaining one-third of the time on education in the department of education to complete their professional preparation. With the revised undergraduate programmes as approved by Senate, the Faculty continues to offer a joint Bachelor’s Degree in Education under the course unit system but with only one teaching subject specialization.
The post-graduate programme in education of the Faculty started in September 1969 in the department of education with the introduction of the Masters Degree in Education (M.Ed.), which was a four-term degree with course work, and research in the fields of educational administration and psychology. The M.A./M.Phil/Ph.D. degree programmes replaced the M.Ed degree programme in September 1974. In July 1974 the Long Vacation Sandwich Post-graduate Diploma in Education (P.G.D.E.) Courses were started while new M.A/Ph.D degree replaced the 1974 post-graduate degree structures at the beginning of the 1978/79 session with Senate approval.
SUBAIR Sikiru Omotayo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Management, Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He teaches courses, researches and consults in Management – Planning, Administration, Policy, Higher Education and Human Resource Management. He has supervised many B. Ed Long Essays, M. Ed Projects, M. A (Ed.) and Ph. D Theses in these areas. He is currently the Vice-Dean, Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.