Prof. Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle an astute Scholar, Teacher and Administrator before his appointment as the sixth substantive Executive Secretary of National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Abuja by the Federal Government on 20th April, 2020 was a lecturer with Department of Industrial Technology Education, Rivers State University, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. He was born on the 26 March, 1964 to the family of Okwelle in Ogbakiri-Ikwerre, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. Young Paulinus spent the greater part of his childhood in Woke's Compound, rumuoroOgbakiri, in a Christian Community. This explains why he is thoroughly grounded in the customs and traditions of his people, which he venerates in later years in some of his literary works. He completed his Primary and Secondary Education in Rivers State and his Higher Educational pursuit was ignited at Rivers State University of Science and Technology where he graduated with 2nd Class Upper Division in 1987, Master Degree in Education 1995 and Ph.D, in Technical Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, 2011. He was certified as professional teacher by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) in 2011. He served the country during his NYSC at Bakolori Dam, Sokoto - Rima Basin Development Authority, in the then Sokoto State, 1987 - 1988. Prof. Okwelle, has professionally impacted developmental knowledge at different capacities across the length and breadth of Nigeria in reputable institutions of learning and had to his credit over 100 Academic Journals and Articles published locally and internationally, some of which appeared in books chapters. He has also supervised many Masters and Ph.D theses and as well served as external examiner in a number of institutions. He is an active member of the several professional bodies. As a result of his track record of selfless service to his dear country, the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari found him worthy and appointed him as the 6th substantive Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education on 16th April, 2021 and assumed office on 20th April, 2021.
Two years ago, precisely, 16th March, 2021 the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR graciously approved the appointment of Professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle, as the 6th substantive Executive Secretary to run the affairs of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, (NCCE) for a period of four years subject to renewal as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). He resumed office on the 20th of April, 2021 at exactly 10 am. to offer his wealth of experience to NCCE management. In celebrating this giant stride on the occasion of his two years in office, as part of its responsibility and commitment, the Media relations Unit of Information and Corporate Services Department, NCCE, deemed it fit to present milestones, highlights of Professor Okwelle landmark achievement for emphasis.
NCCE Executive Secretary and CEBAR Director, exchanging copies of an MoU signed
The administrative prowess of Professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle is one too many that cannot be overemphasized. Two years of this rare gems’ personality at the helm of affairs in NCCE recorded monumental turn-around and improved recognition of the programmes, policies and activities of the Commission as a whole and Teacher preparation institutions in general. As a sterling technocrat and academician per excellence, here’s a one-stop shop of the achievements of professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle administration at two. Being a stakeholder of teacher education and development, Professor Okwelle upon resumption of Office in 2021 engaged in series of consultation, negotiation and research as part of effort to address the root causes of dwindling enrolment into Colleges of Education in Nigeria despite the juicy and lofty policies (incentives) of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for teacher education. This, Professor Okwelle tackled through organizing one of its kind National Summit on the Future of Nigeria Certificate in Education. The Summit was indeed adjudged by reputable stakeholders from within and outside the shores of Nigeria as a huge success, recommendations/communique developed at the end of the summit in which some have been looked into, others with implementation on-going and others being looked upon for action by the Federal ministry of Education in addition to the ministry’s pledge to support NCCE in improving teaching profession in Nigeria.
JAMB registrar with NCCE ES at a function
Key among the gains of the National Submit held, was Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) readiness to
support enrolment into COEs, the result of this is already being felt in practical terms, as all the newly
Six Federal Colleges of Education established in 2020 have fully commenced operation with appreciative number of
Worry over the proliferation of illegal Colleges of education and mushrooms study centers in the country, Professor Paulinus Okwelle deployed principal staff of the Commission to identify, name, and publish on National dailies as well as the Commissions’ official website (www.ncceonline.edu.ng). This singular act indeed stemmed the tide to the ugly menace.
Chairman Senate Committee on tertiary in a group photograph with NCCE ES and some management staff during a visit
A number of MoU/partnerships with International Organizations in respect to teacher development and training were signed and entered vis-a-vis UNESCO, British Council, CEBAR, Jolly Phonics, Cambridge Education, UNICEF and Huawei to mention but a few. Another area of concern that professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle prioritized upon resuming office was the issue of staff welfare, staff mutual working relationship and enabling working atmosphere (24/7 electricity, procurement of state-of-the-art medical equipment for NCCE Clinic & Renovation of NCCE carpark). He ensured that all liabilities were cleared for effective productivity, he prioritized staff training (workshop) and re-training. As a rider to general staff welfare, professor Okwelle with the support of his effective Management staff do not rest on his oars to ensure that Review of new Schemes and Condition of Service was achieved.
Former Minister of State Education, Nwajuiba with Prof. Okwelle during NCCE Summit
It is no longer business as usual under the leadership of Professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle for Colleges of Education not to properly undergo or totally boycott participation of the primary mandate and priority of the Commission of accrediting its courses in line with the Commission stipulated guidelines, Resource Inspection and production of revised NCE Minimum Standard among others At different fora, Professor Okwelle has consistently made a case for the recruitment of only NCE holders at the basic level of education in both public and private sector. The implication of this, directly or indirectly, increased enrolments into COEs. The current FOI MDAs performance ranking ranked NCCE 7th out of the 250 MDAs considered for 2022.
ES with Development Partners
Professor Okwelle with NBTE Executive Secretary, Bugaje at NCCE function
Accreditation of the following (37) NCE-awarding institutions between 2021 and 2022:
Conducted Resource Inspection Visit for the Establishment of the following (25) New Colleges of Education:
Facilitated the take-off of the following six (6) new Federal Colleges of Education established by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020
REMODELING OF NCCE SECRETARIAT
Putting a New look at the Reception Area of the NCCE Secretariat
All thanks to Professor Okwelles’ transparency mantra to FOI compliance level. There is no gain saying the fact that COVID-19 lockdown exposed Nigeria’s vulnerability in E-learning as a result of this quagmire, Professor Okwelle mandated the training of its staff on easy digital access to the activities of NCCE, specifically, on the implementation of Open Education Resource (OER) in NCCE and Colleges of Education. Since Professor Okwelle took over as the C-n-C of NCCE, Crisis that may warrant to Industrial actions by College Unions has been properly managed, this has led to Uninterrupted academic calendar for the time under review. In a similar development, the Executive Secretary received commendation for a successful conduct of NCCE’s Unit election of the Association of Senior Civil servant of Nigeria (ASCSN) held on the 29th March, 2023 at the Commission premises, Abuja.
Under the watch of this astute administrator, NCCE was Awarded best organization in Human Resource Development by Industrial Trust Fund (ITF) for the Year 2021 and a merit Award of excellence for the uncommon contributions to Mass Literacy and Non-formal Education Delivery in Nigeria by a Non-governmental Association for Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS). To conclude, the Entire NCCE family direly wish our God given Executive Secretary a more fruitful achievements as he creatively develops more blueprint for development of Teacher preparation in Nigeria. We also pray for long life and prosperity in the rest of your tenure.
Long live Professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle!
Long live NCCE!!
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
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