Uni-Abuja Symbolises System Failure – Minister

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WITH all the troubles brewing at the University of Abuja, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i has said the institution was a typical example of system failure of the country’s learning environment which requires urgent and total overhauling.

Rufa’i admitted this at the on-going Ministerial Platform on Key Achievements in Commemoration of the 1st Anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration in Abuja. “Why we acted on the University of Abuja was to save it from total collapse, the university is a big issue, I’m sorry to say that it is a total system failure.”

Continuing, the minister said: “There is a problem in the university, but look at other universities, it is a total difference from what we have in University of Abuja. The institution receives funds just like other functional universities, yet there are a whole lot of challenges facing it. But I am assuring you that soon, the problems we have in the university will be fixed.”

She said that the Federal Government has budgeted over N2 billion for the construction of Girls Education Projects (GEP) schools in 16 states of the federation with a view to ensuring that the country meets the targeted Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. The issue of access and equity, she said, is very critical to the development of education sector in any country, adding that it cannot be relegated to the background.

She said the ministry is working very hard to strengthen the institutional management of education, Teacher Education and Development; Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) amongst others.Rufa’i noted that the Federal Government has made efforts in ensuring that Almajirai education programme is achieved in all the states of the federation. ”

You will recall that Mr President flagged off the programme in Sokoto, the ultimate goal is to have 400 Almajiri schools by the year 2015, but currently, 102 schools are to be completed by June.”Addressing the almajiri problem is addressing over 60-70 per cent of the problems we have in the development of education in the country”, she added.

In terms of teacher education and development, she said that 125,000 teachers were trained by the National Teachers Institute (NTI) while 28 head teachers in primary schools were trained from all geo-political zones for optimal service delivery.

“The ultimate goal of the four-year strategic plan is developing world class institutions in Nigeria with world class infrastructure, learning resources, teachers that are able to produce highly-skilled, world-class manpower individuals with entrepreneurial flair.”