The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson weekend faulted the existing parameters used by the Federal Government to fund tertiary education in the country.
According to Gov. Dickson, the current arrangement where all public institutions are owned and wholly funded by the government was not sustainable and against the desired development of the education sector.
Gov. Dickson, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, was quoted while delivering the visitor’s address at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the University of Africa, Toru Orua, on Saturday, that the University of African which is owned wholly by the Bayelsa State Government was designed as a practical model to ignite a rethink of the existing model for funding public universities in the country.
Gov. Dickson argued that it was not realistic to have quality university education considered the bedrock of societal development which is cheaper than nursery school education even within the country.
Dickson also made the clarification that the University of African was owned by the Bayelsa Government though with a different model designed to make it self-sustaining through exploring creatives means of generating revenue.
He said, “The school is owned and funded by the state government. The school is a new model. The university is a publicly owned university. We believe that the model of running tertiary institutions must change. The existing model must change.
“The universities owned by the federal and state governments rely totally on the government for their running. Look at the decline in the standard of education, the tendency of our elite to send their children to schools abroad, whose funding model is different.
“We have announced a policy that the tertiary institutions in Bayelsa would have to look inward. Governments would give grants, build infrastructure, give loans for business development. That is the new direction in Bayelsa.
“When university education is cheaper than nursery education, we are not realistic. When it is cheap, it cannot give us the quality and the innovation that we seek. When university education becomes cheaper than nursery education, then something has gone wrong.”
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