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Institute of Education

The Institute of Education was established in 1987 under the Statute which was approved by the Senate on 14th May, 1986. The Statute stipulates that "The Institute of Education will be a public service unit which will be more directly responsive to the needs and problems of the Ministries of Education, Local authorities and private bodies." The Statute also states that "The Institute shall be a body within the University outside the Faculty of Education". Initially, the Institute ran Sandwich programmes (long-vocational courses) in non-degree, short term and in service training courses. Then, the programmes conducted in the Institute of Education include Associate Certificate in Education (ACE), Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE); and Post-graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). The Institute of Education helps teachers at various levels to improve their skills and specifically to produce professional teachers. The Institute of Education, University of Calabar pioneered the re-training of teachers in Nigeria. She re-trained teachers for the Cross River State in between 2001 and 2003 before the Federal government of Nigeria started the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in 2006.

Since its establishment, a number of Directors have headed the Institute of Education. The first Director was an American, Prof. W. N. Pruitt who headed it between 1987 and 1989. During this period, the Institute had no specific departments or units, and Prof. Pruitt was concerned with the implementation of the provision of the Statute which empowers the Institute of Education "to establish educational centres" as a process of bringing education to the grassroots. By the time he left, in late 1989, the Institute with a small number of staff had established over thirty-two educational centres in Cross River, AkwaIbom, and the then Imo states.

Dr. Erim O. Erim, a historian, who succeeded Prof. Pruitt has prepared the ground for the establishment of the Environmental Education Unit in the Institute of Education, and had led the Institute in massive retraining of teachers at the Associate Certificate of Education level (ACE). It was also under Dr. Erim that the activities for the establishment of Environmental Education Unit came into the open, and with it, the sending of the first batch of Institute staff to Jordan Hill in Scotland for training as Environmental Educators. It was also under Dr. Erim that the Institute of Education designed and implemented NCE (Nigeria Certificate in Education) programmes, which were intended to retrain teachers in all the states where the Institute of Education centres were established.

Between 1991 and 1998, the Institute of Education came under the Directorship of Prof. R. A. Omojuwa. The first thing Prof. Omojuwa did was to consolidate the centres, streamline centre operations, and complete the production of the Institute Book Series. The Book Series provided sound reading materials for the educational centres. Prof. Omojuwa also briefly experimented with the idea of Divisions in the Institute and Divisional Heads as provided in the Statute of 1987. This arrangement brought into being the following Divisions: Primary Education Division, Secondary Education Division, and Material and Research Division. These were internal arrangements of the Institute.

By 1992, Prof. Omojuwa had succeeded in presenting a proposal to the Senate requesting the establishment of the following Departments in the Institute of Education: The Department of Distance Learning, the Department of Educational Services and Extra-Mural Studies, and the Department of Educational Technology. For the first time, the Institute of Education had Heads of Departments as Senate members.

Under Prof. Omojuwa, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), World-Wide Fund (WWF), and the University of Calabar Graduate School completed arrangements for the establishment of an Environmental Education Unit; undertook the training of the second batch of environmental educators; provided equipment and funds for the implementation of Environmental Education Programmes; and supervised as well as financed the production of eleven quality books in the field of environmental education which were published by Macmillan Publishing Company in 1995. The implementation of the environmental education programme in Nigeria was enormously facilitated by the then Dean of Graduate School, Prof. S. W. Petters, who introduced many relevant courses into the curriculum and designed the book series. Although, environmental education activity under the unit dominated operations in the Institute of Education at that time, the Institute was also involved in the operations of the educational centres.

By the time the NCF/WWF withdrew its support from the unit in 1995, environmental education had become a discipline of its own running diploma in Environmental education and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Education (PGDEE). With the withdrawal of support, the operations of the unit came to an end, and the Department of Educational Services assumed full responsibility for implementing the Environmental Education Programme judged to be the first of its kind in Nigeria. Between 1997 and 1998, the Institute saw the brief leadership of two Directors, Prof. J. O. Bisong and Prof.Ikpaya. With the establishment of the Centre of Educational Services, Prof. Bisong assumed both the role of the Director, Centre for Educational Services (CES) and the Institute of Education. This was continued by Prof. Ikpaya when Prof.Bisong left. With plans to re-organize the Institute of Education and integrate it into the Centre for Educational Services, the Institute of Education passed through its dark hour and experienced great disorientation and disorganization. The Institute of Education also lost some of its resources and became financially drained. Fortunately for the Institute, the plan was dropped then.

The Institute of Education was revived and regenerated during Prof. IvaraEsu's administration. Professor Esu believed in the implementation of the Statute establishing the Institute and encouraged the Institute of Education by a number of positive administrative measures: the recognition of the autonomous Statute of the Institute, the appointment in 2000 of Dr. John U. Emeh (a foundation member of the Institute of Education) as Acting Director for the Institute, the halting of the integration process, granting to the Institute the right to run degrees, and the encouragement of the Institute to become more innovative in programme designs and implementation. With this, two very viable degree programmes were established and run by the Institute of Education. They were – Bachelor degree in Educational Technology and Bachelor degree in Environmental Education. Such positive acts brought new life to the Institute of Education under the Directorship of Professor J. U. Emeh.

Professor J. U. Emeh was succeeded by Professor Arit E. Obot in 2004 who consolidated the running of the Degree programmes within the Institute and at the Educational Centres. It was during the tenure of Professor AritObot that the Federal Government of Nigeria brought hammer on Educational Centres. Prof. Moses E. Inyang-Abia became the Director of the Institute in 2006. It was during his tenure that the Institute of Education was disorganised by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bassey O. Asuquo as a result of misunderstanding of domiciliation demanded by the national Universities Commission. All the academic staff of the Institute of Education were sent to the Faculty of Education and all the degree programmes and students sent to the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, except the PGDE which went with the then coordinator, Prof. Hannah M. Denga to Department of Educational Foundations, Guidance and Counselling, finances of the Institute in the Bank Accounts were transferred to the University of Calabar main account. This was the darkesthour for the Institute of Education.

At this disorganisation and dissolution of the Institute of Education by Prof. BasseyAsuquo, Prof.Abang J. Isanedighiwas the Director in 2008. Prof. Isangedighi met only one Research Assistant who was just employed when the Institute was liquidated. He requested for some staff on secondment and three academic staff were sent to help him run the three Ordinary Diploma programmes that were left in the Institute with 34 students. During his tenure some new academic staff were employed and the staff strength grew.

Rev. Professor Imo E. Umoinyang, FSTAN, JP became the Director of the Institute of Education in 2011. With the dynamism of the digital Vice Chancellor, Prof. James Epoke, this directorship has brought about increase in the number of programmes from three to five and the domiciliation of the Diploma in Media and Theatre Studies of the Department of Theatre Arts in the Institute. There is also a remarkable increase in student's enrolment into the five Ordinary Diploma programmes of the Institute because of the massive publicity of the Institute's programmes, and brought back the PGDE and PGDEE programmes to the Institute of Education. The Journals of the Institute have been revived; Institute public lectures as well as Conferences are prominent activities of the Institute in recent time.