The Department of Primary Education Studies was established in 1971. It is among the first programmes that were introduced when the institution was established. In Septemberl975, UNESCO, OMEP, UNICEF and other Childhood Education World Organizing bodies recommended the establishment of the Faculty of Primary Education Studies in Rivers State College of Education Port Harcourt, by then the University was a College. In its inception, Dr. Younge and three other Lecturers were sent from Canada to Rivers State College of Education, Port Harcourt to establish a Faculty of Primary Education Studies. The Faculty was first sited at Oromenike, in D-Line area of Port Harcourt. It had a total number of 23 Lecturers and Dr. Younge was the Dean of the Faculty while Dr. (Miss) Amadi was the Co-ordinator of studies. In 1979, UNESCO sent Mr. M. J. Ohaka to Canada for an M.Ed, degree in Curriculum Studies and Mr. Jonan Eteli for Science Education in the United States of America. In 1980, late Prof. C. S. Akpe joined the Faculty and in 1982, he took over from Dr. Young as Dean, Faculty of Primary Education Studies. This explains that the present Department of Primary Education Studies started as a faculty.
The Faculty of Primary Education Studies had departments/units as its minors, in accordance with the specification given by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to its' member nations. The departments were as follows:
Thus NCE programme major and minor courses were also offered in the faculty under the following combinations.
The faculty of Primary Education Studies also offered ACE programme for teachers with teachers training certificates.
Each of the departments in the faculty had adequate number of students on enrolment. It is important to note that the Faculty constantly prepared and updated its curriculum. It also had lecturers who studied primary education and specialized in foundational and curriculum courses. In 1986, there was a merger by Prof. G. O. M. Tasie, the then provost and the faculty became a department. Most
of the lecturers in the faculty were distributed into secondary departments in the then college of Education. From 1986 till date, Department of Primary Education Studies had been under the Faculty of Education.
It is interesting to note that the department produced the first professor of the institution when it was a college in the person of late Professor C. S. Akpe. The department has produced to hid credit some very good students at both NCE and BED levels who now serve the department as lecturers. Some of whom are: Dr. A. A. Okujagu, Dr. Hellen Sokari A-Okujagu, and Dr. Nnamdi Anero. In 2014 the department officially registered with the Worldwide Organization for Early Childhood (OMEP) and was inaugurated by the National President Mrs. Patricia Okeke. Staff of the department are also members of well renowned national and international academic organizations.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY EDUCA TION STUDIES (PES)
Primary education is the foundation of the entire educational system in Nigeria, hence Primary Education Studies (PES) aims at equipping teachers with the relevant knowledge, skills, attitudes and methods to enable them teach all subjects effectively in the primary school. The curriculum of what is taught is as contained in the National Policy on Education.
The Primary Education Studies Department, of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education is established to train teachers and teacher trainers at the B.Ed level. With the upgrading of the institution to degree awarding status in 1982, the department started running the degree programme in Primary Education Studies even when the institution was a college.
OBJECTIVE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION
The department therefore considers the training of well qualified, competent, highly motivated, conscientious and efficient, teachers as its main business. This is handled such that by the end of the course, students should be able to: