TELL’s Conference on Tertiary Education Begins

In a quest to seek long term and sustainable solution to challenges confronting Nigeria’s higher education, a two-day conference of higher education stakeholders involving the government, educational institutions and industries has opened at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Monday.

The conference put together by the National Higher Education Forum, NHEF a nongovernmental organization and powered by TELL, publishers of TELL magazine, Nigeria’s number one independent, investigative news magazine, Federal Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, and SOJOURN, a communication outfit, seeks to chart a way forward that will address infrastructural decay, intellectual capital, financial capital and bring about a new wave of partnerships for tertiary education.

The thinking is that, the four key issues would need to be addressed to achieve the kind of quality in higher education that can prepare Nigerians for modern workforce and development.

Stressing the importance of the conference in his key note address, Bart Nnaji, a former minister of Power and chairman, Geometric Power Limited said, higher education is a bridge between a productive society and knowledge growth for both the young and old.

He pointed out that the role of higher education in preparing a society where people get knowledge, is not feasible because of certain missing key issues in tertiary education.

Nnaji who lamented a high level of infrastructural decay in the Nigeria higher education sector said the key in achieving infrastructure in tertiary institution includes “comfortable living and learning environment, which includes, students hostels/residences that provide the basic needs of a person; conducive classrooms, modern ITC equipment and well equipped laboratories/work studios, very well trained knowledgeable teachers, reliable supply of electricity etc.”

Earlier in his welcome address, Nosa Igiebor, President of TELL Communications Limited, represented by Ademola Oyinlola, deputy editor-in-chief said that the malignant problem confronting the education sector requires that all strata of the society must come together to give it a collective fight.

He said NHEF is aimed at providing opportunity to all stakeholders to brainstorm and come up with useful suggestions that will take higher education to higher heights.

He added that TELL magazine has gone beyond merely reporting but it is now seeking to hold discourse on key national issues that will guarantee development.

Plenary sessions in the afternoon witnessed presentations from Lere Baale, director, Business School Netherlands Nigeria and Gbemi Oke, a professor and director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Ibadan, on leapfrogging national entrepreneurial progress.

NHEF said the first phase of the project will last for the next 25years owing to the fact that education is a life-long journey. The conference continues tomorrow.

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