By Akon Etumukwa
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and a multinational ICT firm, International Computer Driving License (ICDL) are combining efforts to offer computer and digital skills to public tertiary institutions.
The partnership, which is an initiative of ICDL, is aimed at bridging the digital skills gap among academics and non-academics in the country’s tertiary institutions to enhance teaching and learning.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Sulieman Bogoro, said the partnership was crucial to the mandate of TETFund in intervening in the most critical areas towards improving the rating and ranking of Nigerian public tertiary institutions.
Bogoro said in the 21st century when knowledge economy has taken over from resource based economy, Nigeria cannot lose track of the factors that drive a knowledge-based economy.
He noted that in a knowledge economy ICT was the drive and the country needs to get that right develop its economy, adding that the nation cannot be competitive it is not the same page with its superior competitors.
The TETFund boss said since the fund was refocused in 2011, remarkable improvement has been seen on infrastructural development across the country’s public tertiary institutions.
He said the emphasis on public tertiary institutions was because 94 per cent of Nigerian students’ population attend public tertiary institutions, adding that although the number of private institutions was the same as public, they had only 6 per cent of the student population.
Bogoro said private institutions charge high tuition fees even as some would demand that such charges be paid in dollars and other foreign currencies.
He praised Covenant University for emerging as one of the best institutions in the world.
Earlier, the General Manager of ICDL Africa, Solange Umulisa, stressed the need to be ICT literate, stating that in the 21st century people were expected to use technology in teaching and learning.
Umulisa who is from Rwanda, said they were in Nigeria in partnership with e-Tech, their representatives in Nigeria, to solicit for collaboration for the training of academic and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions in the country on the use of ICT in teaching and learning.
Chairman of e-Tech, Barr A.U Mustapha (SAN) expressed confidence that ICT skills would improve the involvement of Nigerian academics in research, adding that today and tomorrow would be regulated by ICT.
Mustapha said capacity building was very important as today and tomorrow would be regulated by ICT.