The ongoing ASUU strike have left parents worried about the effect of idleness on their children but to their surprise, the President Buhari led Federal government, with the approval of the Bukola Saraki led Senate, have created 80 new higher institutions despite the fact that the ones currently in operation are bedeviled by lack of funding.
Lecturers in different tertiary institutions across the country have berated the Federal Government for the creation of new higher institutions in the face of poor funding of the existing ones. The Senate had approved the creation of 80 new federal tertiary institutions.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Senator Barau Jibrin, had said during the passage of new bills to create new higher institutions that Nigeria was far short of tertiary institutions needed to meet its educational goals and aspirations. But a former Head of Department, Foreign Languages, University of Benin, Dr Ngozi Iloh, said it was wrong to keep creating new institutions when the existing ones were grossly underfunded.
Iloh, a former National Welfare Officer of Academic Staff Union of Universities, said the creation of new schools was politically motivated. She said, “I do not know whether to say those in position of authorities have gone crazy. Currently, ASUU is on strike because of poor funding; yet they are approving the establishment of more universities; this is very ridiculous. The existing tertiary institutions are not funded.
“I see the development as politically motivated. Today, when a president or vice-president is elected, the next day, they want to site a university in his community; it is not the proper thing to do. If you are establishing a higher institution, you must be ready to fund it.”
A lecturer at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, Prof. Anna Malgwi, said government should take up the challenge of properly funding existing institutions.
Malgwi added, “The idea behind the creation of more universities or other tertiary institutions is not wrong. The reason for the establishment of more institutions is to accommodate more students that have finished secondary schools. It is in response to the cry by parents who do not want their children to be redundant after finishing secondary schools. “Unfortunately, some of the institutions already on the ground do not have the facilities to operate smoothly. For instance, there is hardly enough accommodation for students and lecturers in universities.
“I think the new creation is largely politically motivated, which is not helping matters. Government should properly equip the existing universities.” Also, a lecturer in the Department of Accountancy, Delta State Polytechnic, Otefe-Oghara, Dr Philip Ileleji, said existing institutions were dying due to inadequate funding.
“Holistically, the educational system has been bastardised. The idea of establishing more tertiary institutions, in the face of these obvious neglects, should be jettisoned, at least for now. “What the government should focus on is to fund the already existing institutions and bring them back to standards,” Ileleji said.
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