By Laju Arenyeka

The Chairman of Committee of Pro Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) has said that the Higher School Certificate (HSC) system will instill discipline and the spirit of hardwork in students and ultimately boost the standard of education.

Babalakin, while performing as the chairman of the inauguration ceremony of the ultra-modern national headquarters of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) in Abuja recently, said that he believes “that the return of HSC will create a defining point as a prelude to university education.”

He also added that “It is important to revisit such standard, rather than finding shortcuts, which will invariably take us nowhere.”

Babalakin also called on Nigerians not to leave the burden of education for the government alone. According to the SAN, “this is wrong because it is very difficult for government alone to fund education. Education requires the cooperation of the entire citizenry.”

“Today, education is at a crossroad in Nigeria. The time has come when we must join  hands together in supporting the government in building educational institutions that will be of envy to all, and of pride to us Nigerians. We have to forget the blame game. We have to work together to move education back to what it used to be,” he said.

Babalakin  funded the construction of a multi-million naira Independent Power Project, which currently guarantees 20 hours uninterrupted electricity supply to the University of Maiduguiri (UNIMAID) where he also serves as Pro Chancellor.

The project was inaugurated on December 30, last year. He has also donated over N13 million to the university to execute various projects, including over N12 million for the upgrading of its library, in 2010.

Referring to these, he said: “I regard my current efforts as simply a way of sensitising the community, sensitising Nigerians to please bring their own quota for the development of our universities and I assure donors that their money would be used prudently.

Universities too should work harder at sourcing funds from the private sector and international donor agencies because government alone cannot fund our universities adequately,” he noted.

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