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Oby: University fees in Nigeria so low… it’s compromising quality

Oby: University fees in Nigeria so low… it’s compromising quality
May 24
17:20 2019
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Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education, says the cost of tertiary education in Nigeria has been reduced to the extent that quality has been compromised.

Speaking on Thursday at the launch of Edfin, Nigeria’s first educational microfinance bank, she advised that the federal government find a solution that does not compromise the quality of education.

“There is a matter of how do you share the cost of getting a tertiary education. Unfortunately, our society did not come to the understanding that even education financing does not have to be a problem,” she said.

“You must have a solution that the pricing of education does not get taken down to the level where it cannot sustain quality. That is what’s going on now.

“We are taking down tertiary education to a level where a person is comfortable to pay almost N500,000 for the children in a top secondary school but once the children go into the university, their parents are ready to join them to protest about the pricing of university education. In the process of doing that, you are compromising quality and relevance.”

Proferring a solution, she said: “Those who have the capacity to pay should pay the right price for tertiary education and for those without the capacity to pay, edufinance and a subsidy from the federal government that is well designed will come to ensure that they are not left out of education.”

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria said the country is in trouble because the crisis in the educational sector is not being addressed.

“Our country is in trouble because education is in crisis. A decade plus ago, I told the mission that if we did not address the crisis in education that in a matter of years. In fact, my prognosis at that time was that by 2020 that we will produce the most hardened criminals,” Ezekwesili said.

“There are people who called me to say you said 2020, it happened earlier than that. As minister of education, I said the problem is not about funding. If you fund a dysfunction well, you will get a well-funded dysfunction.”

Also speaking at the event, Bunmi Lawson, managing director of the microfinance bank, said the bank would ensure access to finance for educational needs.

“We are here today to mark the start of a journey one wherein the future everyone who wants to has access to quality education; where those who need finance; or you are a parent, you may be a student wanting to further your education or a teacher who need loans to improve their standard of living or their teaching skills. All stakeholders in the education ecosystem having easy access to the finance they need is the future we envisage.”

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3 Comments

  1. Anosky
    Anosky May 24, 22:47

    Dr. Ezekwesili is still seeking relevance. She should answer two very basic questions:

    (i) How much did she pay as fees when she did her undergraduate education?

    (ii) Has she now publicly declared the amount of money she received as donations for her election and how she spent them? And what happened to unspent funds?

    Since her relevance in carrying placards for Chibok girls is waning, and she didn’t get anywhere roaming Nigeria in the name of politics, she has to find another niche to continue to make herself relevant.

    Who needs her advice on funding of education in Nigeria?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Toyin
    Toyin May 25, 08:56

    A suggested intervention to remedy the educational crisis at the secondary school level

    State governments should actively mobilize the alumni association of all schools in their states that were established prior to 1980 to support their old schools. The needs of the school would be grouped into twenty headings and each of these would be assigned to a graduating set, starting from the set that graduated in 2000 all the way through to the set that graduated twenty years before that (and even more, for much older schools)
    The renovation and upkeeps of the Physics laboratory would for instance be assigned to one set, while those of the Chemistry laboratory would to assigned to another, and the Biology laboratory to another set, same will go for the library, the ICT room, the gardening & landscaping of the school, the painting of the buildings, teachers professional development courses, etc, etc.
    With the needs of schools broken into easily executable chunks and assigned to different graduating sets in that manner, it would make the alumni more actively involved in their alma-mater and help check the decay that some of the schools are experiencing. It will also go a very long way in making the task of running the schools less burdensome for the state government, allowing it to focus attention on the more recently established schools.
    Toyin Oyewole

    Reply to this comment
    • New Nigerian
      New Nigerian May 25, 11:27

      Toyin,
      This is a great idea and sets the foundation for real change. However, such an arrangement would need to place the alumni in the driving seat of their old school.
      The saying goes that “he who pays the piper dictates the tune”.
      It would not be acceptable for the alumni to underwrite the school while staff of the ministry of education milk it for personal gain.
      Part of the problem of these schools is a lack of commitment by the teachers and administrators. Said problem is best addressed by introducing persons with a vested interest and deep attachment into the higher rungs of teaching and administration.
      Once again, alumni are best positioned to provide such input. A holistic approach that incorporates financing, administration, teaching, and a vibrant accountability structure (governors, PTA, etc.) is the way forward.

      Reply to this comment

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