FG to construct hostels in 36 tertiary institutions

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By Ngozi Nwankwo

Federal Government, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has disclosed its resolve to initiate hostel construction projects in 36 Campuses across the country this year.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arch. Sonny Echono, disclosed this while receiving the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, in his office, Abuja on Tuesday.

Echono said TETFund is working on providing free internet for students in both public and private tertiary institutions across the country.

He appreciated NANS for the level of support and maturity they have shown in advancing the interest of Nigerian students through constructive engagements.

The executive secretary dismissed the misconceptions that the focus of TETfund is on schools; infrastructure and lecturers, saying the students are the real focus.

“I want to assure you that we will continue to support NANS, we will partner with NANS because there is no doubt that any policy or project that you want to do in the education sector, students must be at the center of it.

“Lectures are hired for the skills that have and they are paid salaries, so ordinarily we do hold them additional obligation of training them, but if we want to improve the learning experience of our students, we want the lecturers to renew their knowledge, we sponsor them for conferences, workshop, give them additional trainings so that they can do PhD and so on because we want them to be able to deliver their job better.

“I can tell you that Mr. President, immediately I assume office last year, also gave us a charge that we should begin to focus also on the students in not just words but in deeds and I’m going to speak on only two specific programmes that we are starting this year to demonstrate that.

“The first is the physical infrastructure side. As I speak, this year, we shall be providing hostels for students in 36 tertiary institutions across the country because we realize that parts of the places where our students live are so deplorable and only about 15 percent of our students are staying on campus.

“Many of them are living outside campus, climbing okada many times during the rain. Some of them can’t even come back for evening lectures because when you look at the cost and the trouble of walking all the way and coming back, then you don’t know about the security situation in the areas where they are forced to live”, he said.