DON ENLIGHTENS STAFF ON TETFUND

The Head of Ikole Campus and FUOYE’s Director of Academic Planning, Professor Adeola A. Aganga, recently enlightened staff of the University on how to access the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) intervention fund. The Don took the occasion of the monthly University Wide Lecture for the month of April to expose to his audience the operations of the FUND.

Professor Aganga, who centred the lecture on Academic Staff Training and Development (ASTD), revealed that the TETFUND intervention fund is strictly for academic staff on the basis of eligibility.

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This eligibility has to do with the lecturer’s length of service in the system. A minimum of two years of service gives any academic staff the opportunity to pursue either a master’s degree or a doctorate. Those who have already commenced any of these programmes will not benefit from the current intervention; the fund is meant for those who just secured admission or in the process of doing so. She encouraged interested staff to explore opportunities in highly ranked institutions in Europe or America. The intervention is shared into the ratio of 20%: 80% between Arts and Science disciplines respectively.

Beneficiaries are to spend a maximum of eighteen (18) months for a Masters degree and three years for Doctorate programmes. Funds due to the beneficiaries will be released en bloc to them. She further hinted that interested staff could access application forms from the various faculty officers.

Another sphere of TETFUND intervention is Academic Conference attendance; the fund to sponsor academics for conferences. Such conference must be attended with well written paper for presentation at the conference and has to be related to the discipline of the presenter. A maximum of 5 days is allowed for any conference. Where two staff are to attend the same conference and are required to present papers on the same discipline, one staff would be sponsored while he will have to present the two papers at the conference.

As a way to get quality papers for conferences, the erudite scholar encouraged departments on intra-department conferences where presentations would be made, critiqued and brainstormed upon to bring out a high quality seminar material.

Research Proposal writing is another issue addressed by the lecturer. Professor Aganga said intending beneficiaries must learn to write research proposals as no application for research would be entertained without an accompanying proposal. Each department in the institution should evolve a Research Proposal Committee, RPC. TETFUND, Professor Aganga said, also supports the publication of academic books. She urged staff to work towards that but was quick to warn that such books must meet the standard set by the fund as the book must be thoroughly reviewed by a committee tasked with that responsibility.

It could be recalled that the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Isaac Asuzu, had earlier informed the university staff during the first lecture series for the year that the university has accessed N140million from TETFUND for staff development. Apart from this fund Professor Aganga further said TETFUND has provision for N20million for research proposals and N40million for academic conference while N10million is being set aside for books publication.

...AND ON QUALITY ASSURANCE TOO

The concept of Quality Assurance is not an entirely new phenomenon in the university except for those who joined the university much later. The issue of quality assurance has also been discussed in similar fora as this. The conception of quality assurance is for the university to breed quality graduates”.

To realize this goal, therefore, Professor Aganga said each department in the university should have a Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) with a minimum membership of three staff, and a maximum of six, who must be Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors or Professors. She said in an event where a department does not have the qualified manpower, another department whose mandate and programmes are close to that of the former can be brought in to form quorum. QAC responsibilities among others is to collect questions from lecturers, moderate questions, sample semester answer scripts as well as moderate such scripts.

She decried a situation where marks are randomly allotted to students without commensurate efforts. “Marks should be earned, not awarded”, she emphasized.

The essence of quality assurance demands that students must get their marked examination paper from their lecturer after two weeks of examination, while continuous assessment moderation is to be carried out by Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors and Professors. It is meant to keep students on their toes as well as check the excesses of some lecturers especially as relates to continuous assessment and examinations.

-      Report by Bakji Godfrey

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