Abia state abandoned a tertiary institution when the teachers went on strike. That school – Abia State College of Education – has collapsed, and the teachers and students are gone, 100%. It is possible that our state and federal governments in Nigeria could begin abandoning schools in coming months – and some will struggle. Largely, state and federal governments will ask university vice chancellors to generate a big portion of their operating budgets. If that happens, the ceiling on school fees will begin to fade.
This is when agitation for autonomy will take shape. My alma mater, FUTO, did something last week – it began mass producing and shipping hand sanitizers to manage coronavirus. Certainly, making hand sanitizers by a federal technical university is not a big deal. What is big there is that the university has used that to support its host communities. It recently donated hand sanitizers to Imo state government, hospitals, etc, reducing the burden on the federal government. The government will need that type of experiment from our schools.
How can our schools create IPs to generate revenue? That conversation will become critical in coming months in Nigeria. FUTO’s transition from lab to market is the ultimate experiment. And I am sure Mr. President in Abuja would like to see more from our schools.
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