That TETFund’s Bursary For Teaching Profession, by Rahma Olamide Oladosu
Teaching is a highly complex activity, a social practice that takes place in a specific context like time, place, culture, socio-political-economic situation. It is therefore shaped by the values of these specific contexts.
Growing up, our parents and teachers are usually the first ones to impact our lives significantly. In fact, in the younger years, students have complete faith in their teachers and they listen to them more than their parents.
In other words, a teacher does not merely stick to the role of a teacher. They adapt into various roles as and when the need arises. They become our friends when we are sad, they care for us like our parents when we are hurt. Teachers are also of great importance in a parent’s life as parents expect a lot from teachers for their kids.
All these shows the significance and impact of a teacher in any society and to show sincere appreciation to our teachers for their good works a whole day was dedicated to them, A day we all know as ‘World Teachers’ Day’ which is celebrated on the 5th October annually. The idea of celebrating Teachers took root in many countries during the 19th century, in most cases, they celebrate a local educator or an important milestone in education.
While celebrating World Teachers Day recently, the Federal Government announced a proposal to pay the sum of N75,000 per semester for undergraduates studying education courses in public institutions and N50,000 for those who enrol for a National Certificate In Education (N.C.E.) programme.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed this during the celebration in Abuja as the Federal Government reintroduces bursary awards, these awards would become a policy for implementation next year.
Adamu further stated that there is going to be a clause to benefitting from the scheme, as it would be for students in public institutions and beneficiaries would also sign an undertaking to serve the government for five years after graduation.
In order to make the bursary awards policy workable and sustainable, the registrar and chief executive of the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Professor Olusegun Ajiboye further explained that the Federal Government has tied the payment to Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) an existing financing/intervention agency for tertiary institutions.
TETFund was originally established as Education Trust Fund (ETF), before it was renamed as an intervention agency set up to provide supplementary support to all level of public tertiary institutions. Its main objective is to use funding alongside project management for the rehabilitation, restoration and consolidation of Tertiary Education in Nigeria.
The intervention agency’s main source of income available to the Fund is the two percent education tax paid from the assessable profit of companies registered in Nigeria. The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) assesses collects the tax on behalf of the Fund.
The Fund is managed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees with members drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country as well as representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Inland Revenue Services.
While the board and the management of TETFUND are yet to react to the proposed new mandates of intervening in the provision of bursary to students, such beneficiaries should be those that would take into teaching and research works rather than other profession.
Since teachers have the most important job in the world for making impacts on children of society, they have the power to change lives too, not just for the children themselves, but for the society as a whole.
Though teaching in Nigeria has always been considered a ”Sufferhead Profession” without the necessary support which compel most people to run away from the profession.
So TETFund’s involvement in disbursing the bursary awards would further make the scholarship more attractive to many young and competent Nigerians who would want to venture into the teaching profession.
Rahma Olamide Oladosu is a Staff Writer with the Economic Confidential