By Kingsley Okoye / Naomi Sharang
The Senate said Thursday it was determined to rejuvenate the deplorable state of infrastructure, teaching and learning conditions in higher education institutions using legislation.
The Deputy Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Senator Sandy Onor (PDP Cross-River), made the pledge during a public hearing and presentation of memoranda on three bills for the education sector.
The vice-chairman of the committee represented its chairman, Senator Babba Kaita (APC-Katsina)p>
She said that the rejuvenation of the education sector would bring enormous benefits to young people seeking knowledge.
She said the decision to transform Yaba College of Technology and Ilaro Polytechnic into full-fledged universities of technology would serve as a pathway to centers of excellence in affordable educational resources.
She added that modernizing schools would also provide employment opportunities for host communities and other skilled Nigerians.
According to Onor, upgrading to federal universities would provide a cutting-edge research and learning center that encompasses multidisciplinary approaches, knowledge acquisition and dissemination.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that all three bills were sponsored by Senator Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos.)
The third is a bill establishing the Nigerian French-language school as an interuniversity center for French studies.
Senator Adeola said during the presentation that there is a need to expand the possibilities for teeming Nigerian youth to gain admission to universities, especially in technology-based education.
This, he said, informed his sponsorship of the bills to turn two existing large polytechnics into full-fledged universities of technology.
When converting Yaba College of Technology, Adeola said it would go a long way in meeting the challenge of the huge demand for educational institutions required for the Lagos mega-city.
He said the bill for upgrading the Ilaro Federal Polytechnic to Federal University of Technology has been informed by the expansion and development of the polytechnic since its establishment in 1979.
According to him, upgrading it would help balance the spread of educational infrastructure in the state and other parts of the country.
Regarding the bill for the establishment of the French-speaking Nigerian village in Ajara, Badagry, Lagos State as an inter-university center, he said that this would go a long way in remedying the French language deficiency among Nigerian professionals.
Mr. Nureni Alabi, vice president, Yaba College of Technology Alumni Association, said the institution’s graduates would become more entrenched in technology, applied sciences, information and communication technologies if the law became law.
This, he said, was relevant to Nigeria‘s development needs in industrial and agricultural production, high-tech research and development.
“Yaba Federal University of Technology will help conserve much-needed currencies that are spent lavishly on educational tourism.
“Yaba Federal University of Technology will help to give open license to organize all technical and technological courses which will be beneficial for citizens in this contemporary era,” he said. (NOPE)
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