The Federal Government has been called upon to review its policy on Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND to include assistance to private universities and polytechnics in the country.
Speaking in Ohafia during the maiden matriculation of the Uma Ukpai University, Asaga Ohafia, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Sir Alwell Abalogu Onukogu made this appeal when the polytechnic matriculated its first set of students, said private institutions of the day “that invest heavily in high level human capacity development are hardly appreciated”
“What this means is that Governments are discriminating against certain citizens who attend private institutions.
“I am therefore using this opportunity to call on the federal Government to review their policy on TETFUND. A situation where TETFUND makes no provision for private institutions is unfair and should be reversed”, he said
He suggested that all approved tertiary institutions should be given some financial assistance to enable such institutions to be able to hire and retain quality staff.
According to him, “The amount does not need to be at the same level as is done for public schools. When this is done, private schools may then review their fees and reduce the burden on the parents of their students’.
While advising that parents and the general public to have an idea on the level of subsidy the founder of the polytechnic, Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai expends on the education of each student admitted in the college, Sir Onukogu said “I do know that those days when missions and individuals partnered with government in school ownership at all levels, once a school met all the requirements prescribed by government, governments on their part gave such schools what was called ‘Grant In Aid’”
“With this, private schools were able to hire and retain quality staff and these institutions were able to compete effectively with government schools”.
According to him, official government source will confirm that for every student who passes through government owned tertiary institution, government spends about N500, 000.00 each year.
“Compare this with the fees students pay at Federal and State owned institutions and you will begin to imagine the level of subsidy governments invest on human capacity development at the tertiary level.
“This is why private institutions charge fees ranging from N500, 000.00 per session per student to even one and a half million for medicine and similar programmes”, the Rector said.
Information available to daily Times indicates that school fees at the polytechnic is about N100, 000.00 only and this includes accommodation and free bus services to students moving outside the campus.