Varsities, others got TETFund’s N500b in 4 years, says Bogoro

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)  spent N500 billion for human and capacity building on universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in four years, the fund’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, said yesterday.  He spoke with reporters in Abuja after monitoring TETFund’s projects in various higher institutions.  Bogoro, who frowned at complaints by some vice chancellors, rectors and provosts that they were not part of  TETFUND’s training process, 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.’’  The TETFund boss decried  what he described as the embarrassingly fallen standard of education.  His words: “TETFund spent between N450 to 500 billion from 2011 to 2015 on human and capacity building on universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. 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.  “Today, the standard has fallen but things are improving significantly. If we sustain this intervention, Nigerian universities will continue to rise in ranking, not only in African but among the 1,000 in the world.”

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