By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja, Feb. 21, 2019 The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, on Thursday recounted the ministry’s achievements and promised more access and improved quality education.
Adamu, at a news conference in Abuja, said access to quality education was a major challenge over the years, and assured that government must continue to provide unfette1red access to quality education within limited resources.
“When this administration came into power in 2015, we came up with a blueprint for the sector known as `Education for Change.’
“To give effect to our blueprint, we developed a master plan, otherwise called the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP).
“In terms of quality, we have done no less, ensuring effective supervision of tertiary institutions, high level manpower training and provision of quality library services, among others,” he said.
Adamu explained that the present administration had spent about N727billion in developing infrastructure in tertiary institutions in the last four years.
According to him, much of this funding goes into the provision of hostel accommodation, classrooms, lecture theatres, and laboratories.
On access, Adamu said the Federal Government during the period under review, licensed 30 universities, bringing the total number of universities in Nigeria to 169.
“These comprise 43 federal universities, 47 state universities and 79 private universities, with the combined carrying capacity of about two million spaces as against the 1.5 million carrying capacity we inherited in 2015.
“When we came into office in 2015, the total number of polytechnics/monotechnics/innovative enterprise institutions in the county stood at 298 with a combined carrying capacity of 424,715 spaces.
“To expand access to polytechnic/monotechnics/innovative enterprise institutions, we established or licensed 71 such institutions during the period under review, with a carrying capacity of 93,228 spaces.
“ Access to such institutions has therefore increased from 424,715 in 2014, to 517,943 in 2019,’’ he said.
The minister also said that the number of colleges of education had increased from 147 it met it in 2015, to 174, increasing carrying capacity from 385,240 to 445,440 spaces.
On the award of scholarship, Adamu said the present administration had spent about N15 billion worth of scholarship awards to students.
He also said that registration for post UTME was reduced from N15,000 to N2,000, JAMB from N5,000 to N3,000, NECO from N11,500 to N9,850 and the Basic Education Certificate handled by NECO from N5,500 to N4,000.
The minister said that investments in library and library services were being intensified in order to keep pace with digital learning and qualitative education.
Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Obike Ukoh