Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The federal Government through the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has inaugurated the visitation panels of 25 Federal Polytechnics and 21 Colleges of Education in the country.
Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono, inaugurated the panels in Abuja, and urged them to adhere strictly to the terms of reference of their service.
He said that the visitation panel would ascertain the extent to which the institutions were mandated to carry out their functions.
Adamu said that the panels’ activities would cover a period of 10 years, between 2010 and 2020, which would also be expected to present two reports, covering 2010-2015 and 2016-2020.
According to him, each panel will have an academic, financial expert, and someone with knowledge of the law and other instruments.
He said, ‘The visitations are conducted every five years. The last of such visitations was conducted in 2012, but covered the period 2004 – 2010. In effect the current exercise will cover a 10-year period, and presented in two separate five-year reports; 2011-2015 and 2016 – 2020.
‘’In the current exercise, every panel is made up of seven members who have wide and varied experience in the academic and administrative organisation of tertiary institutions or other institutions in the public and private sectors of the economy.
‘’Each panel is expected to review the performance of the institutions assigned, in the areas of governance, academic standards, quality assurance, management of finances, and relationship between management on the one hand, and staff and students on the other; the assessment of the condition of physical infrastructures, as well as instructional facilities.
‘’To advise Government properly on these and other pertinent issues, each panel is to carefully explore the following Terms of Reference:
‘’Determine the relationship between the Institution and various statutory bodies it interacts with, according to its law for purposes of supervision, planning, finance, discipline, guidance etc;
‘’Look into the leadership quality of the Institution in terms of the roles of the Governing Council, the Head of Institution and other principal Officers;
‘’ Look into the Financial Management of the Institution over the recommended period and determine whether it was in compliance with appropriate regulations;
‘’ Investigate the application of funds, particularly the special grants and loans meant for specific projects in order to determine the status of such projects and their relevance for further funding;
‘’Examine the Law establishing the institution and see in what ways the law has been observed in all its ramifications, particularly with regards to discipline by the Polytechnic authorities, staff and students, and also suggest any necessary modification to the law in order to enable the institution achieve its objectives better;
‘’Study the general atmosphere of the institution over the period in question. In particular, comment on the general conduct and comportment of all the personnel of the institution, especially the students, staff and managers, and advice as to whether the correct training is being given or otherwise. This should include the relationship between the institution and the host community over the period in question;
According to him, it will also investigate the application of funds particularly the special grants and loans made for specific projects, among others.