Minister unfolds plans to revamp education

Ruqayyatu_RufaIPredicts quick end to ASUU strike

EDUCATION Minister, Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, has canvassed the involvement of all Nigerians to join the government in the provision of quality education that would ensure meaningful development of the country. On its part, she said the government was prepared to lead in reforming the sector.

The minister also raised the hope of early resolution of the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying a meeting between them being mediated by members of the National Assembly, was achieving the desired result.

Meanwhile, a teacher at the University of Lagos, Prof. Frank Okafor, has called on ASUU to call off the ongoing strike in the interest of the students.

Okafor made the call recently at a cocktail party organised in honour of two retired professors in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering held at the senior staff club of the institution.

Speaking at the public presentation of the draft copies of the Four-year Strategic Plan for the development of the sector in Abuja yesterday, the minister believed that if fully implemented, the document would lay a solid foundation for the education sector, which was a key component for the realisation of the transformation agenda of the present administration.

She said the document, whose focus is between 2011 and 2015, was a build up to similar efforts embarked upon in the last three years; the Education Roadmap presented by her immediate predecessor, Dr. Sam Omiyi Egwu and her one-year strategic plan, which she put in place during her brief first tenure.

The minister said the current document should be able to address all the myriad of problems confronting the sector.

The document has six major focal points including strengthening of the institutional management of the sector; access and equity; improvement of standards and quality assurance; teacher education and development; technical and vocational education and training as well as funding, partnership and resource utilisation.

The minister said in line with the dynamic nature of the education sector and the society in general, the document would continue to undergo periodic changes, depending on how the situation arises. Besides, she said government would continue to intervene in the key critical areas in the sector to make them functional.

She said: “As you help to re-shape this sector, to guide in the transformation of the sector in particular and the society in general. Let me assure you that we are arduously working in this direction. Over the past few months, we have been taking actions aimed at re-focusing the sector for a greater efficiency and effectiveness.

“For instance, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) through its Special High Impact to support universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the rehabilitation and development of teaching and learning resources. It is providing in three phases the sum of N58 billion to institutions across the country.”

She described as unfair what the current generation of students were going through in the hands of ASUU.

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