TETFund worried over absconding sponsored academic staff after training

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has lamented the growing cases of abscondment by academic staff of various Nigerian universities sponsored for training in a foreign country.

According to TETFund, training intervention for academic staff which was to address the needs of Nigeria’s higher institutions of learning is being abused and that it is slowly becoming a major problem affecting the education system

This was disclosed by the Director in charge of Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D), TETFund, Muhammed Sulaiman, while speaking at an interactive season on training utilisation which was organised by TETFund on Wednesday at the Gombe State University (GSU).

“The department of AST&D is guided by the guidelines for accessing the intervention and I believe these guidelines are well spelt and distributed to the beneficiary institutions,” he said.

“The issue of sponsoring scholars particularly to outside the country and some of them decide to change their institution of study without recourse to TETFund is one of our challenges.

“Some institutions (I don’t want to call names) will be given the approval to study outside and would proceed to their studies but at the end of the day will not come back to the country to serve their bond or to continue their jobs as lecturers, these are some of the problems,” Malam stated.

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He further revealed that the department is engaging the benefiting institutions with the view of find solutions to the problem.

“Also we have been working internally at the TETFund to put some measures to curtail this act,” he said.

He added that TETFund had invested a lot in the area of training and retraining of lecturers and this investment has really changed the narratives.

“Before the intervention (by AST&D) records showed that only about 40 per cent of the Nigerian lecturers have PhD and Masters and after the intervention, the figure or the percentage raised to about 90 per cent,” the director said.

Also speaking the Chairman Board of Trustees TETFund, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Imam, revealed that TETFund is working towards achieving the presidential target of increase the funding of education by 50 per cent within 2 years and 100 per cent in 4 years.

“Yes, we have impacted and I assure you that we are poise to impacting more,” he said.

The chairman also disclosed that TETFund had plans to move from the provision of infrastructure in Nigerian universities to the provision of hostel accommodation and other critical areas of need such provision Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and electricity power supply.

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“In the past 10 years, we have invested heavily and concentrated on the provision of infrastructure, but the board under my leadership will concentrate and focus on three critical areas.

“The first is hostel accommodation for students, we understand that hostel accommodation is barely 15 per cent across Nigerian institutions.

“Meaning, 85 per cent of all Nigerian students are not accommodated, so, we have taken this up as a challenge this year. The second area of focus will be on the provision of ICT and the third will be on power supply,” he said.

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