By Jim Pressman
Nigeria is to put up an Education Exhibition in September, as part of efforts of the current administration to restore the glory and old standards in Education the country was known for at independence and up until the early 1980s.
Education Minister Prof. Rukkayat Ahmed Rufa’i made the announcement in Abuja at the public presentation of the second batch of professional journals sponsored through the Tertiary Education Fund (TETEFUND) by the Federal Government, on the watch of former University of Maiduguri lecturer, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Executive Secretary of TETFUND.
Prof. Rufa’i said the publications marked the beginning of a new phase in educational development and restructuring in Nigeria, which will shift from mere purchase of books published in other climes, as according to her, “these publications will serve to revive the Journal culture, bringing new knowledge to our students and researchers, besides producing a body of knowledge on Nigeria’s efforts in the various fields of study and research.”
She urged TETFUND to ensure that the journals publication fund is also enjoyed by the nine universities just established by the President Jonathan administration.
The FG initiative was lauded by an excited Senate Committee on Education Chairman, Comrade Uche Chukwumerije, who noted that his was “even more excited about the international import of the Journals Project, as Nigeria will now be re-registered on the global intellectual map, and will enjoy again all accruing benefits of such global attention from such a presence.”
He commended what he described as Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s ever – innovative efforts, and the current Minister of Education who the senator said “is trying to leave an enviable legacy by her continually constructive engagement of with all the players and stake-holders in the Education sector.”
Senator Chukwumerije also gave kudos to the President Goodluck Jonathan government, noting that Education got the largest chunk ever of the Federal Budget under his (Jonathan’s) watch.
The allocation of monies to the Journals Project through TETFUND has generated a new awareness and interest in publishing by the very many professional groups in educational/professional and research institutions, centres and bodies across the country. This second batch for instance brought groups such as the Nigerian Association of Experimental Biology and Nigerian Society of Academic Surgery, which many had not heard of before from the reaction in the audience around this reporter! Many actually broke into laughter when they heard about the Journal of the Association of Physical Health Education, Recreational Sports and Dance which reminded this reporter of Nigeria’s recent poor outing at the 2012 Olympics.
More professional associations and their journals are bound to spring up by the next round of publication from the over three billion naira allocation for about 50 such associations, and the Minister has asked them to apply in good time for vetting and informed them that the next batch of publications will be directly delivered to institutions. She appealed to Librarians “not to keep the journals for too long in the name of cataloguing and processing, before placing them on the shelves for use by students, teachers and researchers using those libraries.”
Socio-linguist and teacher, Prof. Jibril Munzali, Vice-Chancellor of the newly established Police Academy which will run as a university in Wudil, Kano state, is already selling admission forms. He collected the formal letter and token copies of the Journal of the Nigerian Academy of Letters on their behalf, from the Minister, at the ceremony in the National Universities Commission (NUC) auditorium.
Details of this and other activities of TETFUND are available on: www. tetfund .gov.ng