Varsities over Concentrate on Teaching, not Research, Says Bogoro

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Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Suleiman Bogoro has expressed concern over the preference of teaching to research in Nigerian universities, saying that such practice does not encourage product development.

He said in order to reverse the trend, which has also been an impediment and a major reason behind Nigeria’s inability to be among the top 100 countries in university education, TETFund has created a department for research, development and centre of excellence.

Bogoro, who stated this in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, said TETFund will redirect its focus from the rising number of infrastructure and beam its searchlight more on development of library, research, academic training and the construction of more hostels among others.

On the issue of fraud being perpetuated by some lecturers who refuse to study abroad after payments have been made by the organisation for such, Bogoro said: “We have put mechanisms in place and you will refund our money if we find you out. We have noticed that universities have been concentrating more on teaching rather than research. Unfortunately, with this in practice, there is no product development. This is why we want to focus more on research and the development of our virtual libraries.

“The state of our hostels has been an area of huge embarrassment. If you undertake a survey, you will realise that only 15 per cent of our students are in hostels, while the majority of students live outside school with criminals. With more hostels, we will be able to attract more patronage.

“There is a huge number of stranded scholars from Nigeria. We no longer send their tuition to the institutions. We send it directly to them. We have insisted that institutions must open dumb accounts and so far, we have sorted about 1,000 cases.

He said researchers should not operate in silence as so far, only the World Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria have supported the tertiary education system with centres of excellence in public institutions, which have not less than 94 per cent of students patronage as compared to private universities.