Supervising Minister of Education,Nyesom Wike has said Federal Government’s intervention in tertiary education has greatly improved access such that universities in the country can now admit over 1million candidates.
He said prior to the establishment of twelve new federal universities in each of the nation’s geo-political zones,the existing universities could only admit a paltry 400,000 candidates leaving almost 2million candidates who may have emerged successful in their entry level examination to their fate.
Wike, at a forum to present a ministerial scorecard of the education sector under President Goodluck Jonathan administration also lamented the inability of some states to access the Universal Basic Education(UBE) grants for intervention in the basic education sector.
He said despite criticisms on the part of Federal Government that adequate funds were not being injected into the sector, N53,617,254,621. 53 billion has been lying fallow unaccessed by the federating states.
A situation,Wike admitted was because of the reluctance of the states to produce their matching grants before accessing that of UBEC.
Among the highest defaulting states include, Adamawa, Abia, Benue, Cross Rivers, Oyo, Plateau, Nasarawa and a few others.
“The Federal Government is concerned with basic education which falls under the purview of the states because if the foundation is faulty,you cannot succeed in building any structure.
“Despite criticisms, this present administration has spent several billion to support states in educating pupils with special needs these past few years.”
At the event which drew participants from all tiers of the education sector, Wike said over N21billion went to states for teachers capacity building,adding that an average of N588 million went to each state for such purpose.
On expansion in the technical education sector,the Supervising Minister said N12.8billion went into construction of laboratories and other learning infrastructures between 2010 and 2013.
Wike condemned parents who send their children to Ghana and other neigbouring countries for tertiary education saying they were ignorant of the massive transformation in the sector since the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku in his remarks criticised the North for the current security constraints facing the nation adding that rather than play politics with the security issue,concentration should be on maintaining peace which will in turn foster development.
According to Maku, the north was highly lagging behind educationally, a trend he noted was making the south and western part of the country take all the glory.
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