No govt accorded attention to education like Jonathan’s —Shekarau

Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, has said the legacy he would want to leave behind is an industrial action-free tertiary institutions nationwide, saying no government, in the past 20 years, has accorded attention to the enhancement of education like Dr Goodluck Jonathan-led administration.

Shekarau, who disclosed this in Kano, on Sunday, during an interactive session with newsmen, however, admitted that there were numerous problems bedevilling the educationsector in the country.

According to him, on assumption of office, he summoned all stakeholders to brainstorm on challenges confronting the education sector.

‘‘At the end of the deliberations, the stakeholders unanimously agreed not to down tools, but seek ways of tackling the crisis facing the education sector,’’ he said, noting that they also resolved that teaching had to continue in spite of the challenges.

Shekarau further disclosed that the Federal Government set up a committee, saddled with the responsibility of assessing problems in the universities, at the end of which it discovered that the tertiary institutions needed not less than N1.3 trillion, with which to tackle its myriad of problems.

‘‘Based on the findings, President Jonathan endorsed the approval of N220 billion, to be disbursed to the universities and to be spread over a period of five years,’’ he added.

He stressed that this year alone, all federal universities benefitted N910 million, while federal polytechnics got N650 million each, with federal colleges of education getting N550 million each.

The minister noted that the money was left for them to decide what to do with the funds disbursed to them by the Federal Government.

While commenting on TETfund, he lamented that majority of the universities were yet to come forward to access the fund, which was waiting for them, regretting that they were yet to commence all relevant processes, vital for assessment of the funds.