Rwandan minister of education, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya has sought clarification about the establishment and mode of operation of Nigeria’s Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) with a view to understanding the workings of the Fund and possible adoption of a similar model in her country.
Uwamariya spoke while receiving in her office in Kigali, the executive secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro who was in Rwanda on a working visit recently.
The minister who expressed appreciation to the executive secretary for the visit stated that Nigeria and Rwanda had a lot to learn from each other and looked forward to forming formidable partnerships with relevant institutions in Nigeria.
“Thank you very much for having time to meet with us. I am sure we also have a lot to learn from Nigeria. It is not only you learning from us because we still have challenges.
“You know we are still struggling to have strong institutions. The good thing is that we know what we are lacking and we are trying to find solutions,” she said.
Speaking about the Centres of Excellence established by TETFund, the minister also expressed optimism that her country could learn from such an initiative.
“You also talked about the Centres of Excellence in your country. I am sure we can also learn from that. Why can’t we work together and learn from each other? I think we have a lot to learn from each other and I am happy that we are looking at how we can partner in different areas.
“I also want to hear more about the Tertiary Education Trust Fund. How does it work, so that we can also learn,” the minister added.
Speaking at the meeting, professor Suleiman Bogoro, TETFund executive secretary, thanked the minister for receiving him and his team in her office.
He gave a brief history about the establishment of TETFund and its contributions over the years towards making public tertiary institutions in the country globally competitive.
The executive secretary, who also spoke about his commitment towards the institutionalization of R&D in Nigeria, which is ultimately geared at making the country a knowledge economy, expressed positive disposition towards developmental partnerships between Nigeria and Rwanda.
The ES in company of some directors of TETFund’s Centres of Excellence in Beneficiary Institutions had earlier engaged with the Centres of Excellence at the University of Rwanda, particularly those specialised in Science, Technology and Innovation and useful collaboration discussions were held.
Present at the meeting with the minister were the director, R&D and Centres of Excellence of TETFund, Dr. Salihu Girei Bakari; Technical Assistant to the Executive Secretary on R&D, Dr. Mustapha Ayo Popoola and the Directors of TETFund Centres of Excellence from the Beneficiary Institutions.
…Signs MoU With ICDL
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) on the provision of digital literacy to staff of the Fund’s beneficiary institutions across the country.
The signing of the document took place recently in Rwanda, during the 2021 ICDL Africa Forum held in the capital city, Kigali.
It would be recalled that the Fund had created the ICT Support Intervention designed to deepen the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Beneficiary Institutions and ICDL Certification has been employed as a certification standard.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of ICDL Foundation, Damien O’Sullivan commended TETFund for taking the initiative to provide digital literacy to workers in its beneficiary institutions through the ICDL platform.
He expressed satisfaction that the relationship between the Fund and ICDL has over the past two years deepened and a lot achieved, despite the global lockdown that occurred in 2020 as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The ICDL CEO also commended the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro for his commitment to empowering workers in the various institutions with digital literacy which ultimately would lead to more effective job performance.
“At personal level, I felt that we established a connection straight away. I found the Executive Secretary, somebody who is on the same wavelength as the ICDL.
“As we have talked about many times; at ICDL, it is a people business. It might be about technology or skills, but it’s about people and empowering people through technology.
“What we have seen over the last two years despite everything that happened; we have seen this relationship deepen and blossom. A lot has been achieved through this project with the 17,000 people we have engaged with the programme,” he said.
Speaking earlier as a panelist at the ICDL Forum, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro explained that as an intervention agency, TETFund had the mandate to look at areas of priorities that would make Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges of education more competitive and deficient digital literacy was one area identified as a challenge among the beneficiary institutions.
According to the Executive Secretary, “In the 21st Century, no nation will be competitive if you have no digital literacy; it is a global imperative and we couldn’t afford to be different”.
“We have been able to train 17,000 of academic and non-academic staff in digital literacy and that is only for a segment of Nigeria, which is really commendable.
“What we intend to do going back is to popularize this intervention by ICDL beyond the education sector, beyond the tertiary education subsector in particular,” he said.
One of the high points of the Forum was the presentation of the award of excellence in education delivery to TETFund by ICDL.