The Ministry of Higher Education was created on 14th October, 2005 out of the then Ministry of Education by the Administration of the past Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori. This was to give adequate attention to Tertiary Education in the State as the work load on the then Ministry of Education was considered too heavy to be handled by one Ministry. It was splitted for greater efficiency in service delivery.
2.1. The Ministry currently has a staff strength of 163 made up of 16 Junior staff and 147 senior staff in eight (8) Departments, namely:
(ii) Higher Education;
(iii) Planning, Research & Statistics;
(iv) Finance & Accounts;
(v) Remedial Education;
(vii) Educational Services; and
(viii) Teachers Education/Registration
3. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MINISTRY:
3.1. Upon its creation, the Ministry was charged with the following responsibilities;
(i) Initiate and implement educational policies for Tertiary Institutions;
(ii) Students Financing;
(iii) Special Education;
(iv) Remedial Education;
(v) Development of Public Library;
(vi) Educational Research and Planning;
(vii) Higher Education;
(viii) Educational Services;
(ix) Book Development.
4.0. FAMILIARIZATION TOUR:
4.1. Between 2015 – 2016, the Ministry embarked on familiarization tour of all Tertiary Institution and Parastatals under the purview of the Ministry. The working visit was intended to give the Ministry first hand information on what is on ground, to ascertain problems and needs of these Institutions and the best way to address the challenges. The tour focused on human and physical infrastructure available for realization of the Institutions’ objectives. As at today, the Ministry has completed the tour of the public Institutions.
4.2. From observation, the critical areas where attention needs to be focused included:
• Provision of power
• Development of ICT especially computerization of registration and examination process
• Hostel Accommodation
• Funding and Accreditation
• Harmonization of academic calendar
• Private/Public partnership
• Capacity building
5. EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS/PARASTATALS:
5.1. The Ministry supervises the Delta State University, Abraka with campuses at Asaba and Oleh, the three (3) Polytechnics at Ogwashi-Uku, Ozoro and Otefe-Oghara, one (1) College of Physical Education at Mosogar and two (2) Colleges of Education at Agbor and Warri. Other parastatals are: Institute of Continuing Education, and Scholarship Board. The Ministry also interacts with all private Universities in the State, some of which are: Novena University, Ogume, Western Delta University, Oghara, E.K Clark University and Michael & Cecelia Ibru University. The responsibilities of the Ministry towards the Institutions and parastatals are carried out through the eight (8) Departments of the Ministry each of which is charged with a specific aspect of the Ministry’s assignment. In general, these Departments are involved in Educational Planning and Research, Quality Assurance, budget preparation and implementation, monitoring of the Ministry’s project and processing of requests for capital releases from the Institutions and Parastatals. To further give participation and representation in his Government, on the 9th December, 2015, His Excellency, the Governor inaugurated the Governing Councils for all the public Tertiary Institutions in the State. These Councils, made up of highly experienced and prominent DELTANS are involved in policy formulation in the various Institutions and the healthy competition amongst them for the growth of their Institutions has been a welcome development. Government expects them to do more by using their contacts and influence to attract development to the Institutions.
6. NATIONAL POLICY ON EDUCATION:
6.1. The Ministry has a major responsibility of attending Joint Consultative Council on Education Meeting which holds thrice annually. It has participated in other educational fora such as the Technical Education Summit, the National Education Research and Development Council review of Education Policies in Nigeria. The Ministry was fully represented at the National Council on Education Conference held in Abuja from 27th – 30th September, 2016. The Ministry always ensures that decisions reached at the various conferences, especially the National Council on Education are implemented in the State to enhance educational development.
7. SUPERVISORY AND INSPECTORATE ACTIVITIES:
7.1. As part of its regulatory functions, the Ministry, through the Department of Teacher Education and Registration liaise with the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) to undertake registration of Teachers at all levels in the State, and also the regulation of teaching practice. Before the TRCN in the State was fully established, the registration of Teachers in all public/private Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions in the State was done in the Ministry of Education, before it was split and Ministry of Higher Education does for Tertiary Institutions.
7.2. The Ministry has continued unabated to sensitize Teachers at all levels and to create awareness campaign of the Teacher’s Registration in collaboration with the TRCN. Also, through directives of a general nature, actions are taken to assess the level of implementation of Government policies and educational standards in Tertiary Institutions. To this end, the Inspectorate Department is involved in the Registration/Monitoring of private Tertiary Educational Institutions.
8. OPERATION OF PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS:
8.1. The Ministry of Higher Education since its creation is saddled with the responsibilities of registering, monitoring and inspecting all Private Tertiary Institutions in Delta State.
9.0 EXECUTION OF CAPITAL PROJECTS:
9.1. The Ministry places a great deal of emphasis on successful executions of projects approved for implementation in the budget. To this end, the State Government through the Ministry has spent the sum of N3,613,056,248.07 on the execution of the three completed projects and on-going projects.
(i) Completion of Faculty of Law at DELSU, Oleh Campus which His Excellency has commissioned
(ii) Completion of the Health Clinic at DELSU, Anwai Campus
9.2. On-going projects:- Work is still on-going on the following contracts;
(i) Construction of Lecture Theatre at the Faculty of Engineering, DELSU Oleh Campus;
(ii) Construction of Senate/Administration Building, DELSU, Abraka;
(iii) Construction of Health Clinic at DELSU, Oleh Campus;
(iv) Construction of External works at the Faculty of Engineering, DELSU, Oleh Campus;
(v) Construction of Workshop/Laboratory (A) at the Faculty of Engineering, DELSU, Oleh Campus;
(vi) Construction of Workshop/Laboratory (B) at the Faculty of Engineering, DELSU, Oleh Campus;
(vii) Construction of Workshop/Laboratory (C) at the Faculty of Engineering, DELSU, Oleh Campus;
(viii) Construction of Faculty of Science Building, DELSU, Abraka;
(ix) Construction of standard Library Complex at Asaba;
(x) Construction of standard Library Complex at Sapele;
10. HOSTEL DEVELOPMENT (PPP):
10.1. The Ministry is in the process of developing hostel accommodation in all State Owned Tertiary Institutions with the capacity to accommodate 60% – 80% of the student population via Public Private Partnership (PPP) on build operate transfer concession (BOT). As at date, the Ministry has engaged two Consultants to drive the process following the approval from the State Executive Council for the project.
10.2. Approval was granted for the development of two pairs of blocks of hostels (one male, one female). Each block is to have a minimum of 102 rooms and is expected to accommodate 408 students. Therefore, both block will have a total of 204 rooms and accommodate 816 students. The number of blocks in pairs that could be built in each Institution will be decided on a case by case basis as determined by need. The proposed hostel blocks in all Tertiary Institutions will be uniform and construction will be expected to be completed within record time from award of contract.
11. ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION (CAPACITY BUILDING THROUGH SEMINAR/WORKSHOP):
11.1. Partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant(ACCA): The Ministry has granted approval to the request by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) to partner with the ministry in the areas of events, seminars and other activities as it relates to students and youth development and advancement in the state.
12. DELTA STATE BURSARY AND SCHOLARSHIP BOARD
12.1. The Board currently offers over 7 windows of opportunities for students to access the state Government Financial Support Services. They include the following but some of these are on hold due to the economic situation in the country;
Student’s Special Assistance Scheme.
Scholarship to local
First Class Scholarship.
Financial Assistance to students in the Nigerian Law School.
Scholarship for Physically Challenged Students and Children of Deceased Civil Servants.
External Scholarship Services; BEA and Commonwealth Scholarship programme, agbami scholarship, e.t.c.
12.2. Achievement of the Board for the year 2015/2016:
The focal point of the board was to consolidate on the gains of the preceding years and evolve better ways of delivering financial support service to our clients (students). The achievement of the board for the year under review for the various scheme include the following;
a) Students Special Assistance Scheme
This scheme was introduced and approved by the State Government to replace the popular bursary regime. The Board is currently paying the 2013/2014 academic year to the students who registered and was verified by their institution. So far the board has paid over 12,000 students from 62 institutions with the sum of N250,000,000.00 at the rate of 20,000.00 per student.
The feat was as result of the State Government approval of the sum of N400,000,000.00 for the scheme and the registration exercise for the next academic year is in process. Of the N400,000,000.00, about N250,000,000.00 has been spent with the balance yet to be released. The sum of 347,000,000.00 has also been approved for the 2015/2016 academic session for which the exercise has commenced, awaiting release of fund.
b) Local Scholarship
This scheme covers students in undergraduate, masters and Ph.D programme in Nigerian University. It might interest you to know that the State Government gave N100,000.00 each to the 385 undergraduate, N200,000.00 each to 104 masters degree category and N300,000.00 to Ph.D category. The State Government has paid all the beneficiaries of this scheme that commenced from 2010. In 2015, 40 Ph.D beneficiaries were paid their second tranche from the 2011 Ph.D programme beneficiaries who are also expecting their final payment.
c) Scholarship for children of deceased civil servants, physically challenged students.
It is imperative to note that the policy of granting scholarship to children of Deceased Civil Servants/Physically challenged students is a culture the State inherited from the defunct Bendel State and has been a tradition in the state since creation. The state government has always given scholarship to children of deceased civil servants who died in active service and physically challenged students who are in school. The State Government gives each awardee in the primary school N20,000.00. Secondary school N30,000.00 and Tertiary Institutions N50,000.00. it may interest you to note that for year 2013/2014 academic session, the board in 2016 paid 285 beneficiaries of children of deceased civil servant.
13. SOME OF THE POLICIES
(i) Tertiary Institutions now budget and account for their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR);
(ii) Minimum qualification for employment into the State Tertiary Institutions is academic masters with exception for first class graduates approved by His Excellency, the Governor, as he deems fit ;
(iii) Polytechnics to stick to the regulation of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). i.e. 70% Technical and 30% others;
(iv) The retirement age of staff of the State Tertiary Institutions has also been addressed;
(v) ICE to remain within its mandate, but has a 3 years period to wind up her current programmes with other Tertiary Institutions.
14.1. The Ministry will continue to intensify efforts at discharging its responsibilities in line with His Excellency’s SMART agenda for the State. Honourable Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Directors, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for listening. God bless you all.