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Dons have no Nobel Prize to their credit, laments Okebukola

By Michael Egbejule, Benin City
26 January 2019   |   4:18 am
A former Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, has lamented that Nigerian university teachers have not been...

Peter Okebukola

• Adamu Decries Dearth Of Qualified Instructors, Learning Materials
A former Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, has lamented that Nigerian university teachers have not been able to win a Nobel Prize, declaring that 60 per cent of undergraduate course projects in the country’s university system are plagiarised.

Okebukola stated yesterday at the Edo State University, Iyamho, during the commissioning of the CANVAS Learning Management System (LMS), the first in West Africa.

In a related development, the Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, yesterday, identified wrong perception of technical and vocational education, dearth of qualified instructors, lack of learning materials and ill-equipped workshops, among others, as some of the challenges confronting the technical and vocational education in the country.

Adamu stated this in Benin City during the National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) exhibition and roundtable on skills assessment.

Okebukola, who expressed dismay at the ugly situation in the country’s university system, said world over, leading universities in developed countries boast of several Nobel Laureate, a feat uncommon in the Nigerian system.

Speaking on the role of LMS in promoting academic excellence, Okebukola said it does so by ensuring efficiency in processing results, showcasing of the quality of academic programmes delivery of the university to the global education community, as well as improving the digital literacy of staff and students, amongst others.

He said there are times a project work is either plagiarised or some elements in it are copy and paste, adding: “Plagiarism means copy from somebody without attributing it to the person.
“ Many of our students, even lecturers, just go to Wikipedia and copy the page and paste it as if they are the authors,” he added.

“So the lecturer, who may be because of the volume of the work could not go through, will say my students are brilliant, not knowing that they are copy desks,” he said.

Adamu, represented by a Director in the ministry, Mrs. Olubukola Adedigbe, noted that the development invariably affects enrolment of candidates into various Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) assessment and certification programme in the country.

Earlier, NABTEB Registrar, Prof Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe, said the board and its stakeholders were being faced with the challenges of filling existing gaps in providing training and verification of emerging new trades for the 21st century job market.

She said to tackle the deficiencies in national system of skills training and assessment, the federal government introduced the Nigeria Skills Qualification, whose assessment procedures recognised the certification based skills people already had, adding that NSQ is well structured and accessible by all skilled persons in the world of work.

Governor Godwin Obaseki advocated a review of technical education curriculum to meet the 21st Century and bridge the gap of qualified skill workers.

Represented by the Commissioner for Employment and Wealth Creation, Emmanuel Usoh, Obaseki lamented that stakeholders often overlook skill qualifications, which he said is paramount to the country’s development and placed emphasis on paper qualification.