President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a change of attitude towards education for genuine change and progress in the country.
He said the country’s challenges are multiplying by the day, and tackling them would require different but fresh perspectives anchored on innovative approaches to education delivery throughout the country.
Speaking yesterday at the 52nd convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos, Buhari said: “It is therefore imperative for universities in the country to take the lead in opening our minds to the emerging scenarios and equipping ourselves to meet the challenges posed by these changes.”
Represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr. Chris Maiyaki, the president also tasked universities to be in the forefront of generating and disseminating knowledge and innovations to ensure the country’s participation in the global knowledge society.
He said: “Government on its part will continue to encourage our universities and other tertiary institutions to produce the necessary skilled manpower with a view to building a strong economy.”
The president stated that the current administration has recently shown its commitment to the university system by releasing N22.5 billion as Earned Allowances and N30 billion as Revitalisation Fund for the universities.
He said the government has also ensured that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) is responsive and proactive, by providing among others, funds for research, infrastructure and staff development.
From 2019 to date, Buhari said a sizeable amount of billions has been disbursed for the funding of research.
According to him, “I am not aware of any other administration that has paid more attention to the funding of education like the present administration. However, we shall not rest on our oars. We shall continue to engage the relevant stakeholders to ensure sustainable funding to enable our universities to deliver on their mandates. Let me reiterate that education remains a top priority of this administration.”
Buhari noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought about monumental changes to the traditional ways of teaching and learning.
He added: “Virtual and blended learning; zoom meetings, seminars and workshops are the imperatives of the medical necessity of the pandemic.
“Our universities must be on top of these new developments by ensuring that both academic and non-teaching staff members are conversant with and master the technology and techniques of virtual interactions consistent with the Benchmark Minimum Academic standards prescribed and approved by the NUC.”
He promised that the government would continue to encourage universities and other tertiary institutions to produce the necessary skilled manpower with a view to building a strong economy.