By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—FORMER Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon was, weekend, conferred with an honorary doctoral degree in Management by the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, just as he berated the rush by former senior public officers in establishing private schools in the country. According to him, the development could destroy the nation’s public education system.
Gowon was conferred with the honorary degree along with Professor Akin Mabogunje who was awarded honorary doctorate degree in Environmental Technology by the same University at its combined 21st and 22nd Convocation.
According to him, the continued encouragement to former public office holders to establish private institutions would take quality education away from the reach of brilliant poor students.
The development, the Former Head of State noted “could also divert government attention from its responsibility of funding the sub-sector.
He however expressed concern over the deteriorating nature of public education system because government at the various levels had not been according it the deserved attention.
According to him “We must discourage the rush by former senior public officers to establish private schools so that the public education system is not ruined”.
Gowon lamented the inconsistent educational policies of the government on education, regretting that the development had adversely affected the growth of qualitative and sound education in the country.
The Former Head of State therefore challenged “teachers at the primary, secondary or tertiary institutions to show better commitment and dedication in the discharge of their duties, adding that authorities of educational institutions should show greater concern in the areas of producing quality graduates that could help solve the problems of energy and technological challenges of the country.
He called on Nigerian Universities and Colleges of Technology in the country should train engineers who would apply technology to develop agriculture, food production and healthcare, among others.
Gowon said “We must ask what FUTA and other universities of technology can do to help solve the problem of electricity generation and distribution in Nigeria.
He said that “we must first get our politics right when we get our politics right we will get our educational and other politics right.
“The Federal government must provide timely financial assistance to improve public primary education. Government must provide good infrastructure that make good education possible.
We must discourage the rush by former senior public officers to establish private schools so that the public education is not ruined.