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    Friday, December 8, 2023

    Poor Policies, Funding Bane of Nigeria’s Education Devt — Guardian MD, Oloja

    The Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Martins Oloja, has identified poor policies, inadequate investment, and a lack of commitment on the part of policymakers as the banes of educational development in the country.

    Oloja, stated this while delivering the 12th convocation lecture of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, with the topic “Internationalisation of University Education for Global Relevance: Experiences, Barriers, and Prospects,” described Nigeria’s education system as a ticking time bomb due to explode.

    He, however, called for an immediate need for the reform of the sector, advocating for the adoption of the Singaporean model and a holistic approach to address the challenges confronting the country’s educational system.

    According to him, this can only be achieved through collaboration with foreign or international institutions to enhance the quality of education in the country.

    He said, “The warning is germane now because the state of education anywhere is a combination of many factors, including the quantum of resources committed to the educational sector and the quality of human capital assigned to manage the value chain.

    “So before it is too late, we need to tell our leaders to invest robustly in education. Let’s not be telling them to fund education, which they do haphazardly and quite often; it turns out to be like what Shakespeare calls a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    “Nigeria has a long history of education. The country’s educational system has undergone a transition from the traditional system where mature men instructed the youths in personal, good citizenship, and community responsibilities to the formal Western education brought by the missionaries in the mid-nineteenth century.

    “Even before the 1960s, schools were properly administered and discipline was enforced. The quality of graduates was high, and the certificates awarded by the schools were equal to those awarded by schools in the West. However, things went sour and education was neglected in the late 1980s, and the quality of graduates has since become unreliable.

    “This same degeneration has spread tentacles to the economy, governance, science and technology, medicine, religion, individual responsibility, and finally Nigeria’s global competitiveness. Education quality drives global competitiveness.

    “Our leaders often appreciate orators and public speakers when they regale them with how Lee Kuan Yew turned one city-state into a significant nation. I would like to encourage our leaders to spare a weekend to study the role of quality not just in the education of Yew but also in the lives of Singaporeans.

    “If they study the classics of the iconic Yew, they will see how education quality, consciously funded as a fundamental objective of state policy, is the weapon the great leader used in developing his four million people into global citizens, significant entrepreneurs, and great thinkers.

    “Here is the conclusion of the whole matter: we need to wake up from lamentation syndrome and get our visitors to the universities (this is our Adekunle Ajasin University) to visit in peacetime when there is no convocation so that we can share information with them on how to internalise good policies and robust investment to get the universe back to the university so that we can talk about internationalisation and international cooperation so that we can be future-ready, future-relevant, and future-assured.”

    Meanwhile, Oloja hailed the institution on its rating by the global webometrics ranking, stressing that “as the university is still basking in the glory of good ranking, achievements, and commendations, it has continued to engage its convocation to interrogate the nexus between the dynamic nature of society and the place of higher education in the fast-changing world that digital technologies daily disrupt.

    Speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, Prof. Olugbenga Ige, said: “In today’s interconnected world, where knowledge knows no borders, the role of universities in preparing students to navigate a diverse and complex global environment is paramount.

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