A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE
The need for adequate teacher training programme for potential teachers for special education was articulated since 1974 by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Third National Plan and in her National Policy on Education 1977 and 1981. The National Policy on Education again emphasized the provision of educational opportunities for all Nigerian citizens without any form of discrimination. Of all the 21 Federal Colleges of Education and the rest 45 State and Private Colleges of Education in the country, FCE(S) Oyo is the only one established to train teachers and other para-professionals in special education for the disabled and the gifted, and other persons with different learning difficulties.
The College which took off as the Federal Advanced Teachers College of Special Education on 5th October, 1977 later became the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo. This was the culmination of years of planning, dating back to October 1974, when the then Head of State declared the Government’s intention to establish a National Special Education Teachers’ College.
By Decree 4 of 1986, amended by Decree 6 of 1993, the College along with other Colleges of Education in Nigeria became an autonomous Institution. With autonomy, the College now recruits its own work force. The academic programmes of the College are localised among the six existing schools: Special Education, Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Sciences, Languages and Vocational and Technical Education. The College produced its first set of graduates in June 1980, and since then several other sets of graduates including foreign students have been awarded the NCE certificate. Many of the products of the College can be found in many important special education programmes and positions across and beyond the country.
The College operates an admission policy that takes the entire nation as the catchment area. Initially, the University of Ibadan was the moderating and awarding Institution for the College’s NCE certificates. However, from the 1993/94 academic session, the College started awarding the NCCE certificate.
For the records, the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo operated on a temporary site – a wing of a renovated Modern School Compound for over 17 years. Physical development within the enclosure quickly took up every available space. When it soon became apparent that further physical development was near impossible, the College had no other choice than to start some developmental work at the permanent site. This situation taxed the ingenuity and creativity of past Provosts to their limit, the broadening of the college special education base through the inclusion of new programmes was adversely affected and offices for staff were very few in number.
Since the College took off in 1977, it has been struggling against many odds including lack of understanding of what it stands for, its mandate and roles. It runs all the courses run by all the other conventional Colleges of Education and goes further to emphasize and specialize on Special Education – a more specialized form of teaching and learning.