The Government of Nigeria on Monday announced plans to spend N1.3 trillion to develop and rehabilitate infrastructures in public universities.
Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Sekarau said in Abuja at the Public Presentation of Strategies on Consolidating the Transformation in the Education Sector that government will ensure that the 190,000 out of school children affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country continue their education.
He said while the government ensures the safety of all schools in the area, they have also started the placement of children in volatile areas to unity schools across the nation.
Reviewing the National policy on education as a guide to the sector development and implementation of policies, he said in order to support better learning, the government is set to establish guidance and counselling centers in schools in the country.
His words: “The government is committed to the safety of our children in schools as a result of security challenges we are facing in some parts of the country. This will also involve providing facilities for our children to continue their education where their institutions may have been affected.
“The Needs Assessment of public tertiary institutions enabled us to identify challenges the institutions are facing in relation to the ability to serve the interests of the society. As a result, we have committed N1.3 trillion to the development and rehabilitation of infrastructure in our public universities.
“We are working with the States government of the affected states and I think they are co-operating, we are gradually identifying them, most of them are scattered out of their stations, so we are gradually doing a lot of census and we are reaching out to them and sensitizing them.
“Most of them are so scared of going back to school again, so some of them need a lot of rehabilitation, counseling and we know the number is quite enormous. So far the numbers that have been identified have been placed in various institutions, especially in federal government colleges”.
“The Federal Government would establish Guidance and Counseling centers in educational institutions, to support better learning outcome.
“At the basic education level, over 600,000 teachers from across Nigeria have participated in diverse training programmes.
“At the tertiary level, over 9,000 lecturers from public tertiary institutions have benefited from scholarship programmes from Master’s to doctoral levels. This is part of the drive to increase the number of academic staff in doctoral degrees in our tertiary institutions.”
He confirmed that allocation to the education sector had increased from N234.8 billion in 2010 to N495.2 billion, saying, “Intervention funds specific to Basic and post-Basic education have also been consistently on the rise. Intervention funds to support Universal Basic Education, UBE, has totaled over N240 billion.
“At the tertiary level, TETfund interventions to tertiary institutions have been on the rise in the allocation to each public university rising from N303million in 2010 to N912million in 2014, from N180million for Polytechnics, to N661million and from N157million to N581million for colleges of Education. High impact interventions have also seen selected universities receiving N3billion each and polytechnic and colleges of Education receiving N1billion to support their development as centers of excellence.”
Shekarau therefore appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the government and the education sector as the administration work to transform the sector.