Bunmi Oguns, Associate Editor, with agency reports
“The administrator stressed that contemporary Nigerian universities and research systems cannot contribute to national development due to the absence of academic culture that drives process for good governance.”
The recent statement which the Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, Labode Popoola, made on Tuesday in Kaduna at the maiden Postgraduate Lecture Series of Kaduna State University (KASU) arguing that Nigerian universities are training students for jobs that no longer exist is really instructive.
Popoola said that the absence of meaningful research in the universities has crippled the quest for creativity and innovation required to unleash sustainable development in the country.
He said Nigeria’s leadership whose responsibility it was to appropriate resources, should worry about this state of affairs because this situation was in sharp contrast with what obtained in world class universities which were training students for future jobs.
The administrator stressed that contemporary Nigerian universities and research systems cannot contribute to national development due to the absence of academic culture that drives process for good governance.
According to him, graduates of world class universities are sought after because they carry out leading-edge research and are engaged in technology transfer.
“This can only be obtained where there is high concentration of talented lectures and students, abundant resources and favourable governance.
“But what do we see in Nigerian universities; poor funding, poor planning, collapse of academic culture, corruption and blurred vision among others”.
He advised the academia in Nigeria to come up with new ideas and engage the rest of the world through inter and multidisciplinary research collaboration.
The chairman of the occasion, A.S. Nwankwo, of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, described the lecture as crucial in the discourse on the relevance of the Nigerian universities to the society.
On his part, Abubakar Saddique, of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who was the lead discussant, traced the root cause of challenges in the education system to poor service delivery at the basic level.
He said that students were poorly prepared at primary and secondary school levels for university education.
According to him, the business of universities is to identify societal problems and conduct research to solve them.
“Since Nigerian universities cannot adequately prepare their students to effectively address contemporary problems, how can they prepare them for challenges of the future?
“The country needs a bottom up approach; from the basic to the tertiary institutions to be able to address the rot in our education system.”
Earlier, the Dean, Post Graduate School of KASU, Abdullahi Ashafa, said that post graduate students represent the pool for the next generation of academicians.
Mr. Ashafa explained that the lecture was designed to address the issue of quality of training in the university system, to ensure competitiveness of graduates in the continuously changing world.