Akin Akande, Abuja
The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqqayatu Ahmed Rufai, has called on organised private sector to continue to partner with federal government in creating access to education by establishing private institutions.
The Minister who made the call on Monday during an official visit to Baze University, a privately owned university in Abuja noted that government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of creating access to education for the teaming Nigerian youths.
She said the federal government has in the last three years as part of efforts to create access to university education established 12 federal universities, licensed nine private universities and three state universities.
Professor Rufai after a tour of the facilities at Baze University commended the management of the university over what she described as access creation with quality assurance.
Her words: “I must say that we are impressed with what we have seen. I have already said kudos to the university management and students that the university has been established both in terms of improving access at the same time with the requisite qualities that we require.
It is in line with transformation agenda of Mr. President. If you can recall in the last two three years he has established 12 federal universities and he has issued license to nine private universities including Baze University and three state universities.
We thank the proprietor of Baze University on what we have seen and we encourage all other private universities and corporate bodies to come out and be in line with we have seen at Baze University to establish institutions, universities, colleges of education, polytechnics because of the cry on the issue of access to education. But we are also happy that access is going on with requisite quality that we desired in the sector.
We are calling on others to come out to support government in establishing institutions for the benefit of our youths that are graduating without requisite carrying capacity to be in any of our institutions.
The future of private universities is bright and the future of education is bright I always say that. Education is really having a good time now with Mr. President giving all the support in the transformation agenda and with partners that we have like Baze University and other universities if we have more that can come on board the future is very bright”.
While speaking, Founder of Baze University, Senator Yusuff Datti Baba-Hamed noted that quality and good governance are what stand out the university among other private universities in the country.
“We have world class facilities comparable to most places in the world. We have expatriates as deed academic and we have very sound governance and academic practices particularly the exam system that we have got here which combines biometrics and bio-coding and admissions are very transparent and fair. No state of origin, no region that are considered. Whoever is qualified is admitted into Baze University and when you are admitted nobody is treated specially,” he said.
He told journalists that the Minister’s visit to the university has spurred him and the entire university management to continue to do better than they have done.
“It is highly elating for Minister of Education to consider us as partners. In summary we are partners with federal government in promoting education. She has said everything she can say to us and we have to continue earn that name.
As far as I’m concerned now, it is a title to Baze University that we are partners with the federal government.
Strict supervision of staff, particularly the academic makes us stand side uninterrupted academic programme and our desire to match international best practices which the Nigerian system is not used to has given us a great deal of challenges with regulation but then it is part of our challenges to continue to solve the problems out. When you are leading the way then you will be clearing the bush.
We have a very understanding Minister because she is an educationist to the level of professor and she is able to point a way on many occasion when the problem seems unsolvable and the problems are solved,” he added.