By Gbenga Olarinoye
OSOGBO-THE Federal Government has put in place a 10- year plan to restructure and reposition the education sector.
Speaking yesterday at the 37th convocation ceremony of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, President Umar Yarâ€™Adua stated that, in the short term arrangement, the government, in addition to increasing statutory allocation of funds to education in the national budget, had streamlined the Education Trust Fund to achieve enhanced focus on the critically important tertiary educational sector.
Yarâ€™Adua, who was represented by the minister of education, Dr Sam Egwu, said the Federal Ministry of Education has also come with a comprehensive framework of improvement strategies which have been initiated to make the countryâ€™s universities globally competitive.
His words: â€œGiven the inescapable fact that government alone cannot fully meet the challenge of effectually funding education in the country, I enjoin the managements of our universities to explore alternative means of supplementing government funding through innovative and productive partnership with our development partners, alumni and all stakeholders.â€
The president disclosed that the Federal Government has resuscitated the federal scholarships award scheme for deserving students inÂ the nationâ€™s tertiary institutions, adding: â€œThis is informed by our desire to drive and instill the pursuit of excellence in our young men and women. To this end, the Federal Ministry of Education has commenced the interview process for selecting qualified students in all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.â€
In his address, the vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Michael Faborode, said the institution has recorded an increase in the number of staff publications in reputable international and national journals as well as staff attendance at academic and professional conferences to make presentations. Four distinguished Nigerians received the university honourary doctorate degrees.
They include former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke (environmental studies), Oba Oladele Olashore (businessÂ management), Engr. Earnest Ndukwe (communication engineering) and Professor Akinsola Akinkugbe (medicine).