‘Provinciality will spell doom for Nigerian varsities’
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.