By Stephen Adeleye.
The Kogi Government on Thursday, commended the Federal Government on its decision to extend support to Kogi Secondary education under the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, gave the commendation when a team from TETFUND visited her office in Lokoja.
The TETFUND team, led by Prof. Bridget Oyoh, were in Kogi to assess the impacts of TETFUND funding on education sector in the state.
According to Osikoya, it is exciting for the team to mention that TETFUND will also be supporting secondary education in the state..
”At the moment, Kogi is not receiving any external support for secondary education; we received for basic and tertiary but none for secondary education.
”This account for many of our problems because we are not receiving World Bank or any other Federal Government interventions in secondary education.
”So, if TETFUND is going to give support to Kogi secondary education sector; it is good news heralding the end of the first tenure of His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello, which will make lots of difference in his second term,” she said.
She, therefore, expressed the government’s readiness to support and collaborate with all our stakeholders at all levels necessary for making sure that Kogi education sector performed optimally.
The commissioner stressed the need for TETFUND to strengthen the bilateral relations with the state ministry of education in terms communication and giving the necessary information.
She noted that the State Government had addressed the performance and quality issues in basic and secondary education; the policy, governance and performance management structures, legal frame work, among others.
”We have come to a point where we now know that the next thing on our table was to engage the federal tertiary institutions.
”So, we are excited that we are receiving the needed support, because this is the first correspondence from TETFUND in my two years in office.
”For us, it is a very big step, it shows that the ministry does not have to rely on secondary information from the user institutions anymore.
”We will have primary information which will also help us to ensure that the support and intervention that is giving to the state is also well utilised.
”It will also strengthens the capacity of the ministry to perform its functions and foster our bilateral conversation with federal agencies.
”The state government is appreciative and thankful for all TETFUND interventions which have come in very handy to making sure that the State’s own regular institutions are assisted,” Osikoya said.
Earlier, the TETFUND Team lead, Prof. Bridget Oyoh, commended the commissioner for transforming Kogi education sector, saying their coming was to assess the impact TETFUND had made in the state education sector.
”We are here to see how all the funds given to tertiary institutions in Kogi since 1999 to 2018, had impacted on the lives of the staff and students, and the progress of the institutions and the state as a whole.
“There are seven tertiary institutions that are enjoying TETFUND support in Kogi; we want to see what their Managements had done with the money TETFUND has given to them so far.
”So, we are going round those institutions both federal and state institutions with the checklist of approval for the past 18 years. TETFUND has no involvement in projects’ executions,” she said.
Oyoh noted that there were 15 intervention areas under TETFUND such as infrastructure, staff development, research, procurement, manuscript development, ICT, Libraries, among others.
She expressed great satisfaction with the infrastructure and facilities in those institutions the team had assessed, saying the Federal Government had done a lot in Kogi tertiary institutions through TETFUND.
She, however, noted that it was cleared from the outcome of meeting that the state ministry of education had not been properly carried along in the process.
”The state ministry of education should be the first point of call if anybody is giving any intervention to education sector in any state.
”We are not actually saying that the money should be given to the state Ministry of education, but the ministry should be in the forefront of what has been or has not been given.”
She, therefore, assured that TETFUND would go back to the drawing board to ensure that the state ministry of education were adequately carried along.