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Students loan: 1.2m beneficiaries to be in first batch

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.As Tinubu establishes national education data system

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The Nigerian Education Loan Fund says the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination registration number, National Identification Number and Bank Verification Number are major requirements for accessing student loans.

 

The Managing Director of NELFUND,  Akintunde Sawyerr, made this known on Thursday.

 

He said this during an interactive session with members of Education Writers Association of Nigeria in Lagos.

 

“About 1.2 million Nigerian students in tertiary institutions and government-recognised skill acquisition centres will be among the first batch of beneficiaries,” he said.

 

According to the managing director, the money to fund the loan scheme is one per cent of the revenue generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service annually.

 

Sawyerr said that the requirements for accessing the laon were to confirm eligibility.

 

He said that the management of the loan scheme would verify applications and attached requirements to ascertain eligibility.

 

He said that disbursement would be in two segments.

 

“The school fee will be paid to the institution on behalf of the student and the stipend directly to student’s account,” he said.

According to the managing director, financially-indigent undergraduates, who need the loan for their education, are free to apply on a designed website and must provide their matriculation details.

 

He said that the beneficiaries would be expected to start servicing the loans when they would secure jobs or set up businesses.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has approved system-wide policies to comprehensively overhaul the education sector to improve learning and skill development, increase enrolment, and ensure the academic security of the nation’s children.

 

 

 

The approved policies are captured as DOTS, an acronym representing: Data Repository, Out-of-School Children Education, Teacher Training & Development, and Skill Development & Acquisition.

 

 

 

(1) Data Repository

 

 

 

Currently, there is a paucity of coordinated, verifiable, and authentic data on all aspects of the education sector in Nigeria, which is critical for planning. Consequently, the President has approved the conduct of an extensive census of the following:

 

 

 

(a) All schools in Nigeria from primary to tertiary level, their conditions and live-in facilities, proximity to one another, educational infrastructure, etc.

 

 

 

(b) All teachers in Nigeria, their qualifications, training support received, etc.

 

 

 

(c) All pupils and students in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions, gender, exam grades, etc.

 

 

 

This information will guide federal and state interventions for teachers’ training and development as well as overall support. It will also provide data on gender ratio (boys and girls), their specific learning needs, and who is in school or who has dropped out based on daily monitoring with year-by-year reporting.

 

 

 

There will be a dedicated portal/dashboard in the Federal Ministry of Education, offices of state governors, and local government chairpersons, which will host and disseminate this information for the federal government, states, and local governments to monitor in real time.

 

 

 

This new data tracking architecture will enable the government to track the progress of students, thus having a clear data-driven mechanism for interventions, especially concerning out-of-school children, girls, and those with specific learning disabilities, among others.

 

 

 

(2) Out-of-school children’s education and training

 

 

 

The Federal Ministry of Education is already implementing the government’s policy through the activities of four of its agencies. Already, there are about two million beneficiaries. The system-wide policy will further enhance the education and training of the nation’s out-of-school children.

 

 

 

(3) Teachers’ development and support

 

 

 

Under this programme, the Federal Ministry of Education will support and train teachers in digital skills to facilitate the use of technology in classrooms. This is expected to bring technology and digitization to teachers and learners at all levels of education.

 

 

 

(4) Skill development and acquisition for all levels

 

 

 

In his determined effort to enhance skill diversity in the education sector in order to effectively equip Nigerian students with the requisite skills, knowledge, and values to become functional and productive members of society, the President has also approved the National Skills Framework. The framework is designed to provide the appropriate skills for each level of education that will result in the empowering of generations of Nigerians with the required aptitude for the evolving needs of the global economy of the 21st century.

 

 

 

This framework is expected to address skill-gaps, quality of education, and unemployment concerns as students will acquire certain skill sets, in addition to general knowledge.

 

 

 

It is expected that once fully implemented, these programmes will succeed in resetting learning and connecting the ‘DOTS’ for significant improvement of the overall education system in Nigeria, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

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