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Why private varsities can’t be included in TETfund – Bogoro

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Why private varsities can’t be included in TETfund – Bogoro

A former Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Prof. Sulaiman Bogoro, stated that public universities in the country needed the intervention of the TETFund than the private ones.

There have been calls from the private universities in Nigeria, for the Federal Government to include the private varsities in the TETFund scheme, for the development of infrastructure on their campuses.

But the don argued that public universities enrolled more students than the private varsities, hence the need for government’s intervention.

Bogoro, who was the Executive Secretary of TETFUND between April 2014 and February 2016, stated this on Saturday at the launch of a book titled ‘The Psychology of Growing Old: A Personal Experience for Both Young and Old,’ written by Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa.

The event was held on the campus of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.

According to him, the primary purpose of establishing the intervention agency was to address the deficiencies in public institutions.

He stated that this is not lacking in private universities.

He said, “There was wisdom from 1988 to 1992 when the ETF ( Education Trust Fund) then negotiated. The wisdom is simple. Today, the private universities outnumber the public ones by about 20. The public universities are about 120, while the private ones are about 160.

“Invariably, we say we have more private universities, but in terms of student’ populations, the private universities are holding only less than 10 per cent of the population. What does that say? The majority of the students are in public institutions. That was the wisdom of ASUU at the time, and it is still valid.

    “If you look at the private institutions, children of the poorest of the poor are unable to pay. Some of them charge in dollars. These are some of the considerations that the government will review. Some of us were able to complete our studies because of the intervention of the government.

    “But then, TETfund, which has admitted private universities as partners in research through the National Research Fund, has now started admitting private universities as co-partners in research. They may not be principal investigators but they are second partners, and you can fund them up to 50 percent of the total research grant cost for any particular intervention in terms of priorities for Nigeria’s knowledge economy.”

    In his remarks, the author and former Secretary General of the Afenifere, Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa, lamented the decline in the standard of education in the country, particularly, reading culture, saying urgent intervention of the government and other stakeholders was needed to save the sector from total collapse.

    He said, “The book industry is dying. There are no longer any libraries. I discovered that only two of the renowned publishing houses still have my books: University Press and Longman. All the others, where are they? Heineman has folded up, and MacMillan has gone into oblivion.

    “Education is dying. I know we have modern technology like this and that, but we can’t begin all this without writing, without producing the books, and we are not producing. Where do we go?

    “This is a challenge for us in education. And of course, without books, we can’t move ahead. I’m aware that some will write in their bedroom or publish in the kitchen, and nobody, no editor, will know what they have written, and they will go in front of their house to start selling the books. The next thing is that we find them in the hands of our students. And that is where education is going.”

    He appealed to the government and all who had the opportunity to work on how the reading culture could be revived in the country as well as writing.

    “Without the book, knowledge will die,” Arogbofa warned.

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