The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyat Rufa'i, in Abuja on Tuesday directed all parastatal agencies under the ministry to start immediately to implement their budgets for the year.
The minister gave the directive when she declared open a one-day workshop on ``Public Procurement and Effective Budget Implementation'' for principals, bursars and secretaries of tenders boards of Federal Government colleges.
The minister said that the effective and prompt implementation of the budget was imperative if the set standards and quality of education was to be achieved.
aid there should be full and effective implementation of capital budgets because funds for the upgrade of projects had been appropriated in the budget and approved by President Goodluck Jonathan.
that achieving standards and quality at all levels of education was a central part of the four-year strategic plan of the Ministry of Education.
The minister said that in order to achieve set goals, ``various measures have already been implemented at different levels to improve quality and standards in the school system.
“The decision of the Federal Ministry of Education to embark on complete rehabilitation of essential infrastructure, such as classrooms, hostels, laboratories and libraries is a deliberate attempt at making schools comprehensively qualitative.
“Funds for the first phase of the project have been appropriated in the 2012 budget already assented to by Mr President.
Thus, the only serious challenge we have now is how to begin to bring this purposeful plan to fruition by having a full and effective implementation of the 2012 capital budgets for the Federal Government colleges.''
The minister said the essence of the workshop was to acquaint and build participants' capacity ``for a flawless, effective and efficient performance.''
She urged the participants to play their roles as custodians and managers of funds and projects in their respective colleges and stressed that their performances would determine the level of success in the implementation of the budget.
Rufa'i urged them to make judicious use of funds made available for the rehabilitation works ``to bring the unity colleges back to the position of excellence to effectively serve the purposes for which they were established.''
In his address, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said it was common knowledge that Federal Government colleges were beset with infrastructure deficit due to many years of neglect and poor maintenance.
Wike said that when he went on an assessment tour of colleges in the six geo-political zones of the country, he discovered the lack of teachers in vital subjects and decayed infrastructure.
“Also noticeable and worrisome is the prevalence of abandoned or poorly executed projects in most of the colleges,” he said.
The minister said the government's plan was to transform the colleges by providing them adequate teachers and infrastructure to improve the quality of teaching, learning and students' performances.
The minister said no fewer than 18 Federal Government colleges, three per geo-political zone, would have their classrooms, assembly halls, libraries, laboratories and sporting facilities rehabilitated in 2012.
He added that the Universal Basic Education Commission had agreed to provide infrastructure for the colleges, especially libraries, during the year.
The workshop was aimed at preparing, equipping and empowering principals, bursars and secretaries of tenders’ boards for the efficient implementation of the budget.