Ibidapo-obe urges sys­tem­atic up­grade of sec­tor for pos­i­tive turn­around

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - EDUCATION - By Ke­hinde Olatunji

FORMER vice chan­cel­lor, Univer­sity of La­gos (UNILAG), Prof. Ibidapo Obe has tasked the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to ha ve clear writ­ten poli­cies to exit the emer­gen­cies in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. He posited that the sec­tor apart from fund­ing needs a sys­tem­atic up­grade to achieve the de­sired turn­around.

Ibidapo-obe spoke at the Aelex 12 th an­nual lec­ture ti­tled “School­ing with­out learn­ing, ” held at the Mu­son Cen­tre, La­gos.

Ac­cord­ing to him, “The Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­tor to­day is in the dol­drums and Pres­i­dent Mo­ham­madu Buhari has said the ‘ob­vi­ous’ a lit­tle too late.

“An emer­gency has been de­clared in the sec­tor; I do con­cur with the need for an emer­gency but what next? What are the set tar­gets? What do we do to exit the emer­gency in ed­u­ca­tion? Yes to more fund­ing but we need more than fund­ing to achieve the de­sired turn­around. Throw­ing money at this chal­lenge is not likely to do the turn-around. It has to be a sys­tem­atic up­grade of the sys­tem.

The former vice chan­cel­lor added, “We of­ten talk about those tech­nol­ogy -driven economies that we were at per with in the 1950s and 1960s (Malaysia, South Korea, Sin­ga­pore, China, Viet­nam, among oth­ers) but for­get to recog­nise and use the raisond’etre for their emer­gence which is Science, Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion (STI) based on Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics ( STEM) pro­gramme as the key in­stru­ment for eman­ci­pa­tion.

“For ex­am­ple, we have al­ways had a pol­icy of 60:40 bias for Science vis-à-vis Hu­man­ity for as far back as late 1960s when I was a stu­dent in the Univer­sity but it has been al­most im­pos­si­ble to achieve. Where is the will to en­force such pol­icy in our pub­lic funded in­sti­tu­tions? The re­sul­tant out­put is that our lead­ers/pol­i­cy­mak­ers can­not think ‘Science’ and can­not ap­pre­ci­ate the need to boost ed­u­ca­tion. The ed­u­ca­tion bud­get has not ex­ceeded 10 per­cent since the ad­vent of demo­cratic gov­er­nance in this coun­try.

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