The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), Suleiman Bogoro, has said that 94 per cent of Nigerian students attend public tertiary institutions.
He said the majority of students in Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges of education are in public tertiary institutions.
He attributed the large percentage to the fact that private universities are much more expensive, adding that some of them even charge their fees in dollars.
He said this at an intervention with foreign partners which held at the TETfund office on Tuesday.
The partners involved in the intervention were E Tech and International Computer Driving License (ICDL).
E Tech is a creative digital agency which focuses on web design & development, marketing and branding, software solutions working with clients to unlock value through creativity and technology while ICDL is the world’s leading computer skills certification.
The organisations partnered with TETfund to provide computer and digital skills certification for people in the academic and non-academic areas of the education sector.
“There are global standards, there are best practices. ICT is the driver in most cases so we are not missing this at all. And it is for that reason we are embracing you people,” he said.
Mr Bogoro thanked both organisations on behalf of TETfund and informed them that their intervention was going to help fulfill TETfund’s crucial mission of intervening in the most critical areas that are meant to improve the ranking of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, specifically public ones because they have the majority of Nigerian students.
Another reason he gave is that the mandate of TETfund permits it to intervene in Public Institutions more specifically, federal and state universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
“We are hoping that as we strengthen the public tertiary institutions, the private tertiary institutions will realize the need to raise their game and if possible overtake the public. That will be a welcome development,” he said.
The TETfund boss recognised Covenant University for securing one of the spots among the top 1000 universities in the world, adding that the University of Ibadan used to be the only Nigerian Institution on the list.
The chairman of E Tech, A. U. Mustapha, commended the TETfund boss on the intervention and for allowing both academic and non-academic institutions participate in it.
“It means you are building capacity; you are enhancing the society so that society can be stronger and better for it,” he said.
Also speaking, the Strategic Advisor, ICDL Foundation, Etinick Mutindo, said the training will be offered through public tertiary institutions as they would be providing the training, while ICDL would provide the curriculum and the certification.
At the end of the training, a person would then be required to take an ICDL test and upon passing that test, they would get the recognized ICDL certificate.
“The idea behind it is to empower people in the education sector to be able to use technology in this 21st century to integrate technology in teaching, research and learning,” he said.
According to Mr Mutindo, the project also seeks to provide people with a measurable outcome that is a global standard adopted by many governments and many international organisations.
“We at ICDL are very proud of the opportunity that we have with our representative here in Nigeria, E Tech, to work alongside with them to oversee the success of this particular project and in the years to come ,to continue to build the capacity of the people in Nigeria,” he said.
Similarly, the General Manager of ICDL Africa, Solange Umulisa, gave a brief history of ICDL.
She said the organisation has been in existence for more than 20 years and that it started in Europe. After deciding to set up an office in Africa, ICDL chose Rwanda, upon invitation from the Rwandan government.
She said that the organisation is currently in more than 25 countries and that Nigeria was a priority to them. She described their relationship with Mr Mustapha of E Tech as a long-standing one and that he has proven to ICDL that he is the best person to work with in Nigeria.
Ms Umulisa said ICDL would offer its full support to the project. “We will work with you from day one to make sure that the project is a success and that expectations are met so the people who are meant to benefit, benefit from that project”.
She concluded her speech by inviting Mr Bogoro to Kigali, Rwanda for a visit.