Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State, Professor Bolaji Aluko has condemned the clamour by a number of heads of tertiary institutions in the country to be included in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETfund, academic support aspect of its massive intervention in the tertiary education sector.
Speaking to a group of journalists that was on a courtesy call in his office in Otuoke, Professor Aluko said it was wrong for any head of tertiary institution so appointed based on his attaining full qualification for the job to want to be sent abroad for capacity building.
He said the nature of TETfund intervention was such that the major target were the underdeveloped staff of each institution that require to be properly armed with the requisite knowledge and skill for his teaching or other non-teaching responsibilities.
“In TETFUND, there is the normal intervention for construction of building and other infrastructures; and there is also academic support, which includes academic and non-academic staff training and development. There are also support for conferences and journal publishing.
“Sponsoring lecturers for further self development so as to effectively handle the vital task of properly preparing the students for future challenges is one task TETfund is not willing to comprise. So the question of including heads of tertiary institutions – the Vice Chancellors of universities, Rectors of Polytechnics and Provosts of Colleges of Education – does not arise,” he said.
Aluko further explained that this level of the institutions’ workforce was not directly involved in teaching, adding that to be appointed head of any tertiary institution, one must have attained the highest form of qualification, questioning the kind of capacity building they were looking for at their level.
The VC said the head of any tertiary institution had all the powers to fund his or her travel to any part of the world for whatever conference, seminar or workshop he or she chose, querying why it must be TETfund that would sponsor such trip.
Meanwhile, the executive secretary of TETfund, Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro has said the clamour for inclusion of heads of tertiary institutions in the TETfund academic support for capacity building was an aberration which does not speak well of those pushing for it.
He said the Act establishing TETfund restricts such interventions to lecturers and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions who are yet to meet the required qualifications to fit fully into the class of personnel required to teach at that level.
It would be recalled that some heads of tertiary institutions who interacted with a team of journalists on independent inspection of TETfund projects recently had complained of exclusion from the academic support programme of the intervention agency.

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