MacArthur Foundation pledges US$15 Million Annual Grant for Education

MacArthur Foundation (MAF), a private U.S based organisation has said its budgetary provision to address issues of educational imbalance in Nigeria runs into US$15 million annually. The Foundation through its support programme and an asset base of almost US$ 4.3 billion, places emphasis on supporting Nigeria in public education, community development, housing, system reform in mental health, juvenile justice, human rights including a host of other interest like population and reproductive health.

According to the President of the Foundation, Jonathan Fanton, who paid a visit to the Minister of Education, Sam Egwu in Abuja, he said four Nigerian universities namely University of Ibadan, University of Port-Harcourt, Ahmadu Bello University, as well as Bayero University, has been enlisted as part of new beneficiaries from the Foundation. Fanton told that globally, over US$ 250 million dollars have been disbursed to tackle issues of development, adding that in 2006 alone, a total of US$ 250,000 was released to the Federal Ministry of Education under the reform initiative to fund the Committee of Vice Chancellors in the development of ICT in Nigerian universities. 'We as an organisation took special interest in Nigeria's education sector, hence, our indication of interest during our last official visit to Nigeria that we would sponsor the immediate past Minister of Education, Igwe Aja-Nwachukwu and his delegation to understudy the educational system of the United States of America (U.S.A). Such training on the American system of education, where there is strong linkage between industry and the academia, would enable a process of infusing new methods of teaching young people and impact positively on the teachers that would in turn apply same in classrooms,' he added. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Education, Jubril Dukku, who received the delegation on behalf of the minister, said the grants were an indispensable tool to the Nigerian government for addressing the myriads of problems in Nigeria 's education.

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