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VC urges increase in education budget

VC urges increase in education budget

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The Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University, Prof. Blessing Didia, has called on the Federal Government to increase the budgetary allocation to the education sector.

He also disclosed that the university had clamped down on lecturers who were in the habit of teaching with handouts and selling grades to students.

Didia, who made this call in Port Harcourt while speaking with newsmen on the institution’s 30th convocation slated for today (Tuesday), explained that the education sector should get about 25 per cent of the entire annual national budget.

He noted that most of the challenges affecting the sector, especially in the area of funding,  would be tackled if education received the largest chunk of the nation’s annual budget.

“There has been a loud clamour for the education sector to get the biggest share of the national budget. It is expected that the  sector should get about 25 per cent of the entire budget, but this has not happened.

“In Rivers State, more is given to education and that is one of the reasons the governor has been able to house the faculties that were without facilities in the past,” the vice chancellor added.

Speaking on punitive measures for offending academic employees in the institution, Didia said, “We have clamped down on lecturers who teach with handouts and sell grades to students.”

Didia, who disclosed that 25 out of the 4,415 students that would be graduating from the institution at the end of the 2016/2017 academic year bagged first class honours, added that the number of first class graduates was the highest since the inception of the university in 1980.

“We have demonstrated considerable academic leadership in research as exemplified in the regularity and quantum leap in the number of inaugural lectures.

“We have also fully established the College of Medical Sciences and two Faculties; Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Social Sciences and associated Departments, will soon be approved to make the university a regular university in line with the change of name and enabling law,” he stated.

The vice chancellor added that the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, would among others activities; lay the foundation of the Students Union Centre.

He disclosed that one of the highlights of the convocation would be the inauguration of the Faculty of Education building, constructed through internally generated revenue by the university.

Didia noted that some of the institution’s academic programmes had been expanded in line with the regular university status, even as he listed some of the programmes as the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Department of Anatomy, Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Geology among others.

He recalled that the university came first in the 2018 National Inter-tertiary Institutions’ Debate competition.

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