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‘Provinciality will spell doom for Nigerian varsities’

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Peter Okebukola

Peter Okebukola

The former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola, has said that ethnicity and provinciality would run Nigerian varsities aground if great care is not taken.
 
Okebukola, who is also Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council, Crawford University, was speaking at the 8th convocation of the school in Ogun State.According to the scholar, “Provinciality will spell doom for the Nigerian university system if the forces of universality are not propped up to overrun it, through appropriate legislation and governance structures.

“Our universities reek of ethnicity, clannishness and son /daughter-of-the-soil syndrome in staff appointments, promotions, student enrollment and general governance. The respectable 21st century university is characterised by merit and open door to all comers, not only for persons from a particular town, local government area or state, but all over the world,” the former acting vice chancellor of Lagos State University said.

 
“Government must also rejuvenate the ranking system as this will catalyse competition, which in turn will stimulate and elevate quality,” he said adding, “Attention must also be paid to improvement in the quality and quantity of teachers. Today, there is a shortfall of about 40 per cent in the quantity of lecturers needed in the system,” Okebukola added.
 
He maintained that, “government must also undertake a massive overhaul of basic and senior secondary system to improve the feedstock into our universities. Why blame the universities for poor quality graduates if all you are feeding them with are mediocre, very poor-quality secondary school leavers? We cannot throw garbage into our universities and expect to reap gold.”
    
Vice chancellor of the school, Prof Isaac Rotimi Ajayi, said a total of 231 students were graduating from two colleges of the school- 148 from College of Business and Social Science, and 81 from College of Natural and Applied Sciences.

He added that 37 candidates emerged from the Postgraduate School.While 21 graduating students finished in the First Class Division, 86 made the Second Class Upper Division, while 76 ended up in the Second Class Lower Division. The overall graduating students, Akinsola Victoria Ireti, with CGPA of 4.89, studied Geology and Mineral Sciences.


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NUCProf. Peter Okebukola

3 Comments
  • YOG

    Provinciality is a reality in our University system and unless we deal with it fast, our Ivory towers will soon become history.

  • William Norris

    The thinking here is wrong.

    There’s all kinds of models that can thrive in a market. Given that education is one of thise sectors not totally amenable to free markets, it follows that universities MAY have higher or should I say, lower purposes.

    Thousands of Nigerian engineers and doctors end up working in North America & Western Europe after being trained with scarce and subsidized resources in State government owned Universities. That’s globalism for you and Nigeria is the loser.

    Ethnicity & Tribalism is exactly what will save Nigeria. Nigerian elites and their rote recitations of conventional wisdom can be very, very annoying.

  • Izeobor

    I think Okebukola’s proposition will work perfectly on the Moon! Even in advanced countries, there is the recognition of various strata of academic grades and everyone is not expected to be on the highest pedestal to be successful. Nigeria should fashion her educational system to take care of majority of her citizens rather than trying to copy alien curricula that does not represent the Nigerian problem. Okebukola got it entirely wrong. Nigeria needs to accommodate majority of her citizens if there should be a national progress and the best way to start is to encourage all and sundry even if it means having a stratified policy that would encourage “son – of – the soil ” to participate.