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TETFund To Construct 36 Hostels in Tertiary Institutions Accross the Country Plus Free Access to Data,Wifi, Internet on Campuses

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TETFund To Construct 36 Hostels in Tertiary Institutions Accross the Country Plus Free Access to Data,Wifi, Internet on Campuses

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has announced that this year it has concluded plans to provide 36 hostels in tertiary institutions campuses across the country.

The Executive secretary of TETFund, Arch. Sonny Echono who disclosed this when the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Tuesday, said the initiative is aimed at addressing the pressing issue of student accommodation in the country.

Echono also disclosed that the Fund is working on providing free internet, wifi access for students in both public and private tertiary institutions across the country.

TETFund To Construct 36 Hostels in Tertiary Institutions Accross the Country Plus Free Access to Data,Wifi, Internet on Campuses

He appreciated NANS for the level of support and maturity they have shown in advancing the interest of Nigerian students through constructive engagements.

”We believe that this is how it should be, that as representatives of students, you fashioned out the best most effective ways in ensuring that the needs of those who elect you are met”

“I want to assure you that as parents as leaders we will continue to support NANS, we will partner with NANS because there is no doubt that any policy or project that you want to do in the education sector, students must be at the center of it.

” The Institutions exist because of students, i have always said that, it is because we want those institutions to prepare our students, to impact knowledge and skills or whole skills and to make them ready to come out and contribute their quota to National development, that is why there were set up. ”

”There were not set up because of the heads of Institutions, not even because of the Lecturers there, those are the things we called, ‘Facilitator’s Tools’, the same way we put up buildings there, that is how we hired people to come and teach but the subjects, the focus are the students, that is why Mr. president got it right from the very on set that we must focus all our effeorts on the Nigerian people.”

He added that while there are misconceptions that the focus of TETfund is on schools, infrastructure and lecturers, the students are the real focus.

”Lecturers are hired for the skilss they have and are paid salaries, so ordinarily we do not owe them additional obligation of training them but if we want to improve the learning experience of our students, we will want the Lecturers to be at the cutting edge, we want them to renewed their knowledge, so we sponsor them for conferences, for workshops, we give them additional trainings, so that they can do PHDs and so on because we want them to be able to deliver on their job better.”

“I can tell you that Mr. President, immediately he assumed office last year, also gave us a charge that we should begin to focus also on the students, not just in words but in deeds and I’m going to speak on only two specific programmes that we are starting this year to demonstrate that.

The first is the physical infrastructure side. As I speak, this year, we shall be providing hostels for students in 36 tertiary institutions across the country because we realize that part of the places where our students live are so deplorable and only about 15 percent of our students are staying on campus,” he said.

“Many of them are leasing and living outside campus, riding okada, many times during the rain. Some of them can’t even come back for evening lectures because when you look at the cost and the trouble of walking all the way and coming back, then you don’t know about the security situation in the areas where they are forced to live. What happens to them when they leave school?

Echono, who lamented that many of the students are outside the campus, stated that the Fund will work to ensure that 50 to 60 percent of the students are provided with well-built hostels to stay in Campuses.

“So, we have a Programme and policy to ensure that as much as possible we will put a minimum of 50-60 percent of our students to live on the campuses and provide those hostels and those hostels will not be all those matchboxes and shanties, they will be solid buildings that can even attract students of anywhere in the world,” he said.

The second intervention is in the area of ICT. Free access to data, wifi and internet in Tertiary Institution Campuses

He added that the directors of ICT and librarians have all been trained and sensitised to onboard students on platforms once they are admitted.

” In today’s world , knowledge has changed and the system of delivery has changed with it. In those days, knowledge is about one Teacher or Lectrurer standing in front of the class and basically dishing out informations to the class. All of that has changed because in a digital age, all sorts of informations as required are already updated on the internet. If you have additional one, you can even put it back on the internet”

” So our Teachers are now facilitators and if you want to help students, grant them access to the internet, make it free of charge as we are going to do to access data on Campuses.”

On the NANS request for the construction of a Students National Secretariat, Echono said he will meet with the Minister and other critical stakeholders to consider their request.

“The initial impression we had was the NANS secretariat moves every two years from campus to campus and that is why it was felt that you will not need a national Secretariat but from what you have said , the frequency of your visit to Abuja for engagements.

“I think it makes a lot of sense particularly, they have allocated a land for you that NANS should be able to have its secretariat. I will have a conversation with the Minister to see how we can bring things about without over taxing parents.”

He also promised that the Fund will work towards incorporating the students in the monitoring of TETFund projects as requested by NANS.

“We will work out those modalities. I want to assure you, we have already started with the lecturers and other unions, we are doing joint monitoring with them. So, we will also incorporate NANS so that as beneficiaries of these interventions you should be able to tell us what’s happening,” he said.

Earlier, the president of NANS, Comrade Lucky Emonefe assured the Fund of the support of Nigerian students as it strives to ensure that education infrastructure is in place to compete with other nations.

“We are not going to relent, we are going to complement your efforts to ensure that these gigantic projects that TETfund ensuring in our institutions, that NANS on our parts, we are going to monitor, supervise and protect education infrastructure to complement the effort of what Mr President and TETfund are doing,” he said.

He also added, ” I have seen it during my campaign of becoming NANS president, when we toured the 36 states inthis Country, there is no higher Institution in Nigeria that you will not see the blueprint and the impact of TETFund”

”As for me the President of NANS and i think i am speaking on behalf of the Nigerian students because i have been given the mandate, the only tangible project you can see in all higher institutions are TETFund projects. So we are very happy when we heard that Mr. President gave budgetary allocation and release funds to TETFund to ensure that TETFund fulfilled its mandate.’

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