NIGERIA TERTIARY EDUCATION IN DIRE NEED OF OVERHAUL – OLAOLU ALI
The need to restore the integrity of higher institutions in terms of ethics and morality, productivity, and total commitment to the ideals of the ivory tower has been stressed. Yusuf Olaolu Ali, a senior lawyer, stated this while delivering the 36th convocation lecture, of the University of Ilorin, held on Friday at the main auditorium of the institution.
The convocation lecturer, who spoke on the theme ‘Tertiary Education and the Future of Nigeria’ noted that the infrastructural base of the system has to be improved. The legal luminary identified inadequate funding, management gaps, government interference, outdated curriculum, lack of the culture of scholarship, corruption, and other issues as factors mitigating against the development of Nigerian University education system.
He, however, called for improved commitment from stakeholders, provision of infrastructure, funding, creation of conducive environment, intensive academic research, provision of power, technology, cut costs, amend constitution and promote scholarship for our institutions to compete favourably among the world class universities. “The universities should also seek alternative sources of revenue generation to augment what the government allocates to them.
Apart from the release of fund, there is the dire need for an effective monitoring of the management of funds presently being allocated to the sector, as efforts should be intensified to improve on what is currently being allocated to the system. “As a means of ensuring effective management of funds, it has been suggested that reliable and credible accounting system should be established in each Nigerian university to guarantee accountability, honesty and transparency.”
“The present situation calls for an urgent need for our governments to make available enough funds for the rehabilitation of existing facilities.
“Government should intensify efforts in providing more physical facilities in the universities. Besides corporate bodies, philanthropists and alumni associations should also assist in the provision of these facilities to aide effective teaching- learning activities in order to achieve the academic goals of university education for national development.
“There is need for a serious expansion of physical facilities and equipment to meet increasing student population. Also important is the need to take serious look at maintenance culture, which is lacking in an average Nigerian, as this will go a long way to reduce the rate of decay of the existing facilities. Effort should be made by government to abide by the 26% annual budgetary allocation prescribed for the educational sector by UNESCO. This will go a long way to change the face of education in the country,” he said.
Earlier, Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, a professor of chemical engineering and vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, declared that, “we will continue to motivate our staff through training and re-training, while we are also consolidating the culture of mentorship through which lecturers could be adequately inspired and appropriately guided. “We are consolidating on revived quality assurance, monitoring, evaluation and control mechanism to enhance lectures’ discipline, productivity and commitment.”