Shortage of Basic Facilities Crippling Varsities – Report

In Education

by Punch

The report of the Needs Assessment Panel set up by the Federal Government to look into the challenges of public universities has uncovered a huge shortage of basic learning resources.

The Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led committee, which has since submitted its report to the Federal Government, noted among other things that basic learning resources were “unavailable” or in “short supply.”

The report, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, read in part, “For instance, less than 10 per cent of the Universities have video conferencing facility, less than 20 per cent of Universities use interactive boards (even the ones that deployed interactive boards are using them in less than 10 per cent of their lecture rooms/theatres),

“More than 50 per cent don’t use public address systems in the lecture rooms/ theatre, Internet services are non-existent, or epileptic and slow.”

The report said “library resources are outdated and manual. No university library is fully automated. Less than 35 per cent are partially automated.”

On the issue of student population, the report said there were about 1.2 million students in Nigerian public universities.

Of this number, 85 per cent are undergraduates, five per cent sub-degree, three per cent Post-Graduate Diploma, five per cent Masters while two per cent are PhD students.

The report added that “960,132 (76.6 per cent) are enrolled in 25 universities (16 federal, nine states). Overall, 798,661 students (63.7 per cent) are enrolled in federal universities, 34 state varsities have 454,252 students (36.3 per cent). About 43 per cent of the students are female while 57 per cent are male.”

It also noted that eight universities namely – Lagos State University, University of Abuja, National Open University of Nigeria, Mashood Abiola University, University of Benin, University of Port-Harcourt, Ekiti State University and

University of Maiduguri – accounted for about 33 per cent of total enrolment in Nigeria.

In contrast, seven universities put together have a total student enrolment of less than one per cent of the overall national figure i.e 6, 868 (0.5 per cent). The universities are Ondo State University of Science and Technology, 212;

Plateau State University, Bokkos, 328; and Bauchi State University, 445 students.

Others are Federal University of Petroleum Resources, 682; Akwa-Ibom State University 837; Yobe State University

Damaturu, 2,113; and Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, 2,251.

The report also said the current enrolment figures, especially as it affect the Science and Arts/Social Science/Management studies students are “reversal of the National Policy (on education) as the current science to non science ratio of 68: 32 instead of 60:40 in favour of the sciences.

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