How TETFund grants can assist private universities in research – Aina
Amidst persistent clamour for upward review of the budgetary allocation to Nigeria’s education sector in line with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s ( (UNESCO) regulation, stakeholders have renewed call for government to step up the funding of researches in the ivory tower.
Vice chancellor, Caleb University, Imota, Ikorodu, Prof Ayandiji Aina dismissed the ongoing debate on whether or not private universities should share from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) describing it as unnecessary.
He posited that “private universities are not asking for TETFund grant to pay staff salaries but to encourage researches that will be of huge benefits to the society in the areas of public health, environment, medicine and agriculture.
According to Aina, “if education is agreed to be the bedrock of the development of any nation, government must be concerned about funding and commitment to research and development.”
“Presently, the bulk of our research funding is from Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the rest of Europe, who are not the direct beneficiaries of the outcome of such enterprise.”
The vice chancellor also tasked researchers to focus on issues bordering on the immediate needs of our society as a way of addressing the myriads of problems confronting the nation.
He cited the dumpsite at Olusosun in Ojota area of Lagos as one that needs research to determine the level of impact it has on its immediate environment, adding “as rain falls on the waste, it results in emission of certain negative substance into the soil system. It is this type of projects that funds from TETFund can be channelled into.
He disclosed that “Caleb University has speciality in environmental issues and currently conducting a research into the proximity of the toilet facilities within its locale – Imota, to the water table where the populace source drinking water.
Therefore, with as little as fifty million naira, Caleb can deliver the Olusosudumpsite project to prevent future consequences in terms of stillbirths, cholera, diarrhea, amongst others.”
Aina added, “Caleb University, an indigenous institution with a global appeal recently concluded an international conference on a multi-disciplinary research meeting with participants from Canada, United States, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and some others. The objective of the mission is to enable our students collaborate with their counterparts in 90 countries across the globe. With a selected group of 10 students from six countries in collaboration with 20 undergraduates of the school, we shall soon commence a project tagged “Lightning up the Dark and Dull Classrooms of Lagos”.
“It is a project that will affect Lagos greatly because ‘dark and dull’ classrooms will not encourage innovative products amongst students. These selected egg heads will carry out the presentation with a simple technology and manageable fund. We believe the state government will key into it”, he added.
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