ABSTRACT The study appraised the management of physical facilities in public and private colleges of education in South East Nigeira. Seven research questions and six null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The sample for the study is 543, comprising 433 academic staff and 110 administrative staff selected from the 4 public and 2 private colleges of education used for the study. A fifty-item questionnaire titled Appraisal of the management of physical facilities in public and private Colleges of Education in South East Nigeria was used for the study. The questionnaire was face-validated by four experts. The internal consistency of the questionnaire items was determined using Cronbach alpha procedure. The data collected were analyzed using real limit of numbers, while mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions, and independent ttest to test the hypotheses. The findings revealed that there is no significant difference between the opinions of staff of public and private colleges of education on the extent they adhere to the NCCE manual on planning, procurement and management of physical facilities in their institutions. The study revealed that to a great extent, management adhere to the NCCE manual on the planning, maintenance, safety and supervision of physical facilities. Observation rating scale was another instrument used to collect data for the study. It was used personally by the researcher to ascertain the level of adequacy of physical facilities in the Colleges of Education. The result revealed that the Public Colleges of Education studied generally have more adequate facilities than the Private ones. The researcher also used Focus Group Discussions in the colleges under study. Data were generated to probe how management staff ensures the safety of physical facilities and equipment in their colleges. Findings show that facilities generally are entrusted to the care of security staff. Discussants also reported that physical facilities and equipment departments are usually in the custody of technologists. Based on these findings, it was therefore recommended among others that staff of both Public and Private Colleges of Education should adhere strictly to the manual from National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) in the management of physical facilities and equipment in their colleges. Implications of the study, suggestions and limitations were stated appropriately based on the findings. 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background to the Study The continual increase in school enrolment in Nigeria in recent years has led to corresponding needs of more qualified teachers, non teaching staff, material resources and physical facilities. This trend has in turn led to demand and employment of personnel and provision of requisite facilities, thus, increasing the cost of financing education. However, the rate of school enrolment still far outweighs the rate of provision of teaching staff and facilities because of insufficient financial backing. Akilaiya (2001) observed this trend, pointing out that the non-corresponding expansion in facilities, has resulted in gradual but general collapse of the system. The continual increase in school enrolment and the need for more qualified teaching staff led to the establishment of colleges of education. Colleges of education are tertiary institutions of learning formally established to produce highly dedicated and efficient teachers for the basic education system. Colleges of education, whether public or private award the Nigeria Certificate of Education (NCE). As teacher education institutions, the goals of Colleges of Education according to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) include: encouragement of the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers; helping teachers to fit into the social life of the community and society at large and to enhance their commitment to national objectives; providing teachers with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment; and to make them adaptable to any changing situation not only in the life of their country, but in their wider world; enhancing teachers' commitment to the teaching profession. For colleges of education to achieve the above objectives, the physical facilities made available to them must be efficiently and effectively managed. Colleges of education are administered by Provosts and a host of other officers.