Borrowed System Has Damaged Nigeria’s Education – VC
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Prof. Obeka Samuel Sunday is the Vice Chancellor of WESLEY University, Ondo. In this interview with TOPE FAYEHUN, he spoke in the effect of borrowed educational system in Nigeria.
The National Assembly is trying to pass a law that will prohibit medical students from traveling out after their graduation. Would you support the bill?
The bill is already dead on arrival as far as I am concerned. How will you prohibit people from traveling abroad when the condition of living and the standard of health and provision of facilities, even in our clinics, are not adequate? How can you pass such a bill when the eminent personalities in the nation, including the leadership of the country from the president down, travel abroad for their medical facility? How can you present such a bill and want it to scale through? The National Assembly should rather concentrate on improving the provision of health facilities in our clinics.
How would you rate Nigerian Education? Do you think the present education curriculum can take Nigeria out of its present state of doldrum?
The present state of education in Nigeria needs more to be desired. That is why the CCMas are looking at education now from the indigenous perspective. He is trying to develop a kind of education that will suit our contemporary society. The nation has been living under the borrowed educational system for a long time from the Western world and we have seen that it has not helped us that much. So, with the current stride by NUC, towards indeginalising our educational principle, philosophy, and theories, we think in a few years from now, the system in the country should be better. In terms of funding, the budget allocation to education is grossly inadequate. All over, there has been a clamor for increased budget allocation to education. I think there is much to be desired in terms of funding education in Nigeria.
Do you think there should be a joint examination for first-class students of all the private universities in Nigeria?
The educational policy of the country tries to moderate the educational system, especially the intellectual competence and ability of our resource persons. For instance, the professorial cadre is globally rated. You cannot become a professor in any university without your papers being accessed globally by at least three professors. That is an attempt to ensure that there is standardization. Other academic cadres too have a common rating arrangement so that before you become lecturer 1, 2, and senior lecturer, associate professor, or a professor, there is a standard rating that you must pass through as far as the academic community is concerned. When it comes to students’ appraisal, three points are very relevant. Before you gain admission, some criteria are set for nationality to be attained. We have WAEC, JAMB, and JUPEG to monitor educational policies that are set. To a large extent, the University and education system generally tried to follow a unified system to ensure the acceptability of all levels of academic attainment. If you are a first-class candidate of WESLEY University, for instance, it is expected that that certificate should compete favorably with other first-class materials globally. Not only in Nigeria. You are aware that Nigeria certificates are rated highly globally where in the world. There is standardization when it comes to educational policy globally and Nigeria is highly rated when it comes to academics globally. The NUC is doing its best. When they go for re-accreditation, they go as low as checking the standard of the questions and marking scheme. They even checked the script that has been marked. The monitoring and the standardization instrument are in place.