By Muhammad Aminu
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has unveiled ten textbooks authored by Nigerian scholars.
The books, which were TETFund-sponsored, were aimed at reducing over dominance of foreign publications in the nation’s higher education institutions.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, Minister of Education Adamu Adamu said the dependence on foreign academic publications portends great danger to the nation’s education sector, adding that boosting indigenous authorship would address the problem.
The minister, who was represented by the State minister of education, Goodluck Nana Opiah, said: “The paucity of indigenously authored and produced tertiary level textbooks and related academic publications in the nation’s tertiary education institutions is a known fact over time. Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions became dependent on books published outside the country with the attendant consequences of the pressure on the demand for foreign exchange.
“It is equally worrisome that the quality of most academic publications in our country leaves much to be desired. It is therefore expected that nurturing the culture of quality authorship and the production of indigenous books will not only ensure the availability of relevant books in the diverse subject areas that take cognisance of our local environment and sensitivities but will also safeguard national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange,” he said.
He commended TETFund for establishing the Higher Education Book Development project to tackle the scarcity of tertiary level textbooks which has before now reached a crisis proportion.
Adamu hailed the Fund for putting in place the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), whose mandate includes collaboratively working with the agency to ensure Nigerian authors churn out quality books.
“TETFund Book Development Fund intervenes in the three key areas of publication of academic books and the conversion of high-quality theses into books, support for Professional Association Journals, and the establishment and sustainability of Academic Publishing Centres (APCs).
“It is worthy of note that so far, seventy-seven manuscripts have passed through rigorous review processes by distinguished scholars and are ready for publication as books. I want to assure this gathering that an additional thirty books will be presented before the end of this year under the TETFund sponsorship programme.
“It will be of interest to note that over 60 per cent of these books are to be published by the Academic Publishing Centres (APCs) established by TETFund,” the minister said.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, who expressed delight over the quality of the ten books, said additional 30 books sponsored by the Fund would be unveiled before the end of the year.
He noted that the agency would sponsor the production of 50 textbooks in 2023.
“We have over 66 manuscripts; what we are unveiling today were published by only one publisher (one printing press) ….., by the time we unveil the remaining 30 in December, you are going to see all the authors cut across the three layers of our tertiary education institutions,” Echono said.
The TETFund boss also revealed that the Fund had provided support to ensure all the Academic Publishing Centres in the country become fully operational.
“There are seven of them across the country. When we came in March, only the University of Lagos academic publishing centre was fully functional and running, a few of them had little issues, some equipment, and other contractual issues, we have resolved all of them now.
“Four have been completed since the last few months, and the remaining we hope to finish by the end of September. The issue of operationalising them, making them self-sustaining is the debate we are having currently because we want them to run as a business enterprise and trying to create balance by focusing on academic publishing and being able to sustain themselves,” he said.
On his part, Chairman of TETFund TAG, Professor Charles Aworh, said 20 TETFund-sponsored textbooks were published in 2014 on different fields with wide acceptance from within and outside the country, adding that three of the ten new books unveiled today were from PhD theses.
He, however, called for more empowerment of the nation’s publishing centres.
“We are on course to publish 40 books before the end of the year, but the only challenge is the capacity of our universities to publish. Authors are ready to publish, manuscripts are ready,” Aworh said.
The high point of the event, which also attracted authors, academic staff unions and heads of education agencies, among others, was the public presentation of the TETFund-sponsored books, which include;1.Principles of Veterinary Surgery: A Concise Text for Veterinary Students 2. Fundamental of Chemistry 3. Fundamental of Public Finance 4.Java for Beginners and Web Design and 5. Programming for Beginners.
Others are 6. The Comparative Method and Civil-Military Relations 7. Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics for Engineers 8. A Guide to Teacher Competence Evaluation 9. Financial Deepening and Economic Growth in Nigeria and 10. Motivational Factors and Teachers Efficiency in Secondary Schools.
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