From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) says the recent approval of twenty new private universities by the Federal Government will further weaken public tertiary institutions in the country.
NANS President Asefon Sunday said in a statement that the development will cause many lecturers in
public universities to migrate to the private institutions, due to the government not paying them well.
He further said that the education sector is being overly commercialised by the influx of the many private universities.
‘The tertiary education system is now fully commercialised and investors are trouping into the sector. The approval of the new universities naturally should be a plus as they will bring more competition into the sector thereby improving research and innovations and also providing choices for students and researchers to choose,’ the NANS president stated.
‘However, the approval of these private universities might end up weakening the public tertiary institutions more given the reality of our system. Lecturers and experienced staffs will be drawn from public institutions thereby weakening the human capital in public institutions, this will affect output in terms of quality of graduates from public institutions and at the long run relegate the public institutions especially state-run institutions to the choice of the poorest of the poor in the society.
‘Just as we have in the secondary education system, hardly will you see children of middle earners in public secondary school again because the standard is considered lower to their private counterpart. Education is supposed to be a social service, even the missionaries that brought formal education to us made it a social service but unfortunately it has now been fully commercialized and from all indications the new private institutions will not be helping in this regards.
‘However, while we’ll continue to advocate for strong public institutions, we wish the new private institutions well and we hope they help in extending the frontier of knowledge and academics.’