BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT – NOBEL laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has lashed at members of Boko Haram, saying they have limited knowledge of Islamic religion.
Speaking Monday in Port Harcourt at the opening of this year’s Rivers state education summit, organised by the state government Professor Soyinka said poor knowledge of the Koran was largely responsible for why Boko Haram should despise western education.
According to him some of the greatest philosophers in history were Muslims, adding that there was need for members of Boko Haram to be retrained on the content of the religion.
“Boko Haram are not educated enough about their religion to know that some of the greatest philosophers came from the religion. They have been taught one track line (Monorail) about the religion. They need to be re educated about the religion”, he said.
Soyinka who was Chairman of the opening session said government should take urgent steps to redress the decay in the nation’s university system, stressing that he was happy to be invited to the summit to be part of a move to rebuild the educational system.
Professor Emeritus, Ayo Banjo who gave the key note address called for steps to improve on the quality of education at the primary level, stressing that it was the foundation of the educational system.
He traced the high percentage failure recorded in the past at the West Africa School Certificate Examination to a weak foundation at the primary level, adding also that the shaky foundation was also behind poor quality graduates being shunned out by universities in the country.
Professor Banjo further called for a total overhaul of the educational system from the secondary to tertiary level to achieve the best for the nation.
Earlier in his welcome address, governor Chibuike Amaechi said the government was set to engage thirteen thousand teachers to provide the needed manpower to achieve quality education in the state.
He said the newly built modern schools would be managed by private hands for the state. The governor who spoke extensively on some of the challenges militating against quality education in the state said his government had to institute a Quality Assurance Board to check the problems.