TETFund boss tackles politicians on poor investments in education

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The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro,

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, has criticised Nigerian politicians for investing on roads and markets rather than on primary and secondary schools, in order to enhance the pursuit of purposive tertiary education tailored towards meeting societal needs.

Echono, who spoke in Abuja while receiving the members of the Education Correspondents Association (ECAN) on a visit to his office, noted that if Nigeria could address its educational problems, it would ultimately address the problem of unemployment, criminalities, hopelessness, social vices, among others.

While frowning at the attitude of politicians who prefer to invest in infrastructures that they can use to bolster their campaigns during elections, the TETFund boss noted that a good governor, who invests in education, understands that the fruits of the seeds being planted may come forward between 12 and 16 years after leaving office.

He said: “Tertiary, despite being my primary responsibility, I would tell you, is even the secondary priority to basic. We must invest so that every child in this country has at least an opportunity to learn how to read and write.

“Once you have that solid foundation, you can begin to build on it, and tertiary education is at the apex of that building. At that point now you are investing; you are deciding to develop human capital in view to meeting a need within the society, and that need can be met profitably. So, you begin to reap the reward of your education after tertiary education.”

On the benefits of education, Echono stated: “We all must accept that reality that if we address this education we are talking about, you would address ultimately; make education effective; teach them skills, make them understand entrepreneurship, you would address unemployment in that process. An educated man would find something to do. You would address hopelessness which is the source of all sorts of deviant behaviour.

“When people begin to take drugs, commit suicide, carry out all sorts of violent crimes, they are people who do not have any sense, they are not holding unto anything. There is no value for them. There is no civilization for them to protect because they don’t feel part of the system.

“An educated person is less likely to be brainwashed into things like insurgency, recruited to commit crime; kidnapping, banditry. And when you are educated you also have something to do, you have skills to be able to do something. It’s an alternative to people who are hopeless and don’t have anything to do. And then you see, their idle minds are the devil’s workshop.

“So, if they don’t have an option, they would go to crime, vices, prostitution for ladies, cult and all other things that boys do these days, ritual killings and so on.”

The Vice Chairman of Education Correspondents Association (ECAN), Nurudeen Yekeen, who led the team, called for more information gathering opportunities at the Fund to enhance better reportage of its activities.

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