Education minister unveils 50 TETFund-funded textbooks by Nigerian authors
Nigeria’s minister of education, Adamu Adamu, on Thursday unveiled 50 new textbooks published by Nigerian authors under the sponsorship of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
Speaking at the public presentation of the textbooks in Abuja, the minister said the publications would end the dominance of foreign academic materials in the Nigerian educational institutions.
Adamu, who was represented by Goodluck Nanah Opiah, the minister of state for education, said: “Over time, Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions became dependent on books published outside the country with the attendant consequences of the herculean processes and unfavourable foreign exchange rate.
“It is equally worrisome that the quality of most academic publications in our country leaves much to be desired. It is therefore expected that nourishing the culture of quality authorship and the production of indigenous books will not only ensure the availability of relevant books in the diverse subject areas taking cognizance of our local environment and sensitivities but will also safeguard national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange.”
The minister commended TETFund for the publications, and challenged the agency and authors to also produce books in the indigenous languages, saying: “I also charge TETFund and the academia to go beyond publishing in the English Language to promoting authorship in our local languages in line with the recently approved National Language Policy.”
Also speaking, president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Emmanuel Osodeke, who described TETFund as the brainchild of the union, lavished praise on the agency for transforming the country’s higher education sector.
The ASUU president called for an increase of education tax from the current 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent to enable TETFund mobilise more funds to totally address challenges confronting the sector.
While decrying the poor attitude of some big companies and wealthy Nigerians on the payment of education tax, Osodeke said there was need to reposition and expand the education tax net to bring more resources to the tertiary education institutions.
On his part, the executive secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, commended the authors, TETFund’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG), and others for the publication of the 50 new textbooks.
“TETFund is committed to doing this. TETFund has set a minimum target of 50 textbooks per year. I am sure that TAG will also surpass our expectations,” Echono said.
The TETFund boss also promised that the newly published books would be distributed to tertiary institutions’ libraries at no cost.
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