By: Ahamefula Israel
I have deliberately refrained from writing on the above mentioned topic, what actually brought me out of my shell is the increasing plight of school Management of various institutions and the ever dogged Nigerian students’.
The importance of education to human beings cannot be over emphasized. Education defines the quality of life; it is the foundation on which the society is built. It has been empirically proven and universally acknowledged that unless the citizens of a given country are well educated and appropriately trained, the achievements of rapid economic and social development cannot be guaranteed.
The success of any educational system hinges on proper planning, effective administration, and adequate funding. Funding is essential for the survival of any institution and tertiary institutions in Nigeria are not left out. Despite all these acknowledged facts, one may be forced to ask if these mention importance is been given pride of place in Nigeria? Comparatively speaking, Nigeria’s education system is rather quantitative nor qualitative-oriented. Paradoxically, in spite of her enormous natural and human resources, its education system is bedeviled with the challenges of underfunding and thus poor infrastructure; inadequate classrooms/lecture hall and teaching aids (projectors, computers, libraries, laboratories etc); paucity of quality teachers/ poor or polluted learning environment.
With reference to Tertiary education, it can be defined as the level of education acquired after secondary education in higher institutions of learning such as Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of education and other institutions of higher learning offering correspondence courses, diplomas and certificates.
Tertiary institutions in Nigeria require a significant amount of funds to achieve their goals and objective, however, funds allocated to tertiary education in Nigeria continue to be inadequate with the attendant effects of negative influences on the system.
Ideally the major source of fund to these institutions is the government providing about 90% of the total expenditure via Subvention but today, reverse is the case.
In order to keep the system running, the managements of these institutions are now left with no other option than to survive with the internally generated fund which basically comes from the fees students pay and considering the urgent need of this funds, they are now left with no other druthers than to compel students to pay on time. This is what led to this policy of No Fees No Lecture which practically is not ideal considering the current economic situation of our dear country.
To this end, Government at all levels should rise up to their feet and assume there responsibility of funding education.
Management of these institutions should supplement their funding stream through the establishment of revenue yielding ventures/project. Such projects/venture like bookshops, hotel and catering services, printing press, consultancy service, etc. this will indeed raise funds needed to enhance their service delivery.
Parents and Users of Education on their own should also contribute towards the funding of their institutions. This could be in form of payment of school fees, development levy etc.
More also, good spirited individuals, Non- Governmental organization, International organizations etc. should also help in this case as Government alone cannot fund education.
Ahamefula Israel, a senior advocate of Nigerian students, writes from Uturu. e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.