The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has called on tertiary institutions in the country to lessen the burden on government by devising means of increasing their internally- generated revenue (IGR).
Adamu made the call in Abuja on Friday while receiving a delegation of the Governing Council of the Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State, who paid him a working visit.
He said that this had become necessary, as government alone could not afford to cater for the increasing demands of the nation’s educational institutions in the face of other demands on its dwindling resources.
The minister noted that government was aware of the numerous challenges confronting educational institutions in the country and was doing everything within its limited resources to surmount them.
He emphasised that creating more avenues for IGR would make the institutions more independent, innovative and enterprising.
According to hi, these attributes are needed by the institutions since the current focus of the nation’s curriculum was to make students more self-reliant.
Adamu added that the Federal Government was keen on addressing the plight of teachers by evolving more enabling policies, providing conducive working and learning environments as well as enhancing good remuneration.
“The teaching profession in the country needs to be re-engineered and managed, in accordance with internationally-acceptable practices and standards.
“The plan of the present administration is to make the teaching profession more noble and admirable,” he said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Saad Abdullahi, Chairman of the Governing Council of the college, said that the aim of the visit was to inform the minister on the numerous challenges presently confronting the institution.
Abdullahi, who said that the institution was fast deteriorating, structurally and financially, appealed to the Federal Government for assistance in order to enhance conducive learning environment.
He noted that the governing council was not unaware of the economic situation the country was currently experiencing, adding, however, that the college still needed the attention of the Federal Government as its IGR could not cater for its pressing needs.
Saad lamented that the commercial ventures set by the college to complement its IGR was now moribund, due to “several hindering socio-economic factors.”
According to Saad, amongst others, the institution is currently battling with the payment of workers’ salary and promotion arrears, in addition to infrastructural deficit.
He enumerated some of the challenging areas as payment of outsourced cleaning and security services, electricity bills, accreditation expenses, governing council’s expenses and other financial commitments of the college.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq