Varsities, others receive N500b TETFund grant in four years
THE Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has spent N500 billion for infrastructures, research and staff development in all the public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the country since 2011.
TETFund’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, disclosed this while interacting with journalists who recently took a tour of the fund’s projects in some universities, colleges of education and polytechnics in the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones of the country.
The executive secretary, who frowned at complaints by some vice chancellors, rectors and provosts that they were left out of TETFund’s Academic Development Training said: “The vice chancellors, rectors or provosts, in terms of academic training, are not our priority. The lecturers are our priority. That is the TETFund’s intervention policy, because they are the drivers of communication and knowledge. If you take away the lecturers, you have created a gap that you cannot fill.”
“Even with their IGR, a vice-chancellor, provost or rector are likely to travel outside the country 10 times but, the university lecturers courtesy of TETFund will manage to make it possible. Before it wasn’t possible, now it is possible for them to go for an international conference once every three years.”
Bogoro decried what he described as the embarrassingly fallen standard of education while adding that reading culture has drastically declined in Nigeria.
“When you talk about quality and ranking, reading culture has almost disappeared in Nigeria. I have been involved in the system for 34 years and I know what it means and what is required in respect of ranking, rating. I have scripts of undergraduates in the 80s and those in 2015 and the difference is clear.
“When we, as teachers, tell you standards have fallen, believe it. We should not politicise the ranking and rating of universities and students. I can’t pass a student when he or she has failed.
“Things have improved significantly in the last four, five years in the higher institutions, but the challenges are likely to be at the lower level. Talking about the number of persons with PhDs, courtesy of TETFund, we now have lecturers in universities, polytechnics and colleges of education acquiring Master’s and PhDs within and outside the country.”