Youths across the states have been admonished to shun social vices and imbibe virtues of integrity and honesty. This advise was given by Dr. Biodun Akinpelu of Faculty of Education Lagos State university on Tuesday 28th May, at the flagg-off occasion of Career and Sensitization programme with the theme: ”Youth and Nation Building: Matters Arising”, held at the Auditoriu I of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Otto-Ijanikin.

The event which was organized by the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education’s Centre For Lagos State Studies (CEFOLASS) in conjunction with National Union of Lagos State Student (NULASS), was graced by eminent Educators, Director of programmes, Deans of schools, members of academia, and non-teaching staff as well as students from various institutions across the state.

Mr. Biodun Akinpelu, the guest speaker at the occasion identified cultism, exam malpractice, peer group influences, drug abuse and nudity as major issues confronting youths in various institutions.

While speaking on exam malpractice, Dr. Biodun noted that it has eaten deep into the educational system both at secondary and tertiary level, stressing that it has become a tragedy to the nation. He further noted that the root cause of such practice is the Get-Rich-Syndrome which has affected most youths today, a desire to get a certificate without working for it. Added to this is low self esteem among students, he observed. He therefore urged the youths to believe in themselves and work hard.

“You need only your brain to succeed as a student. Cheating cannot lead to greatness, all who have achieved a measure of success today worked for it. Determination today prepares you for success tomorrow”. He said.

On the issue of Cultism in higher institutions, Dr. Biodun highlighted general social disorganization, moral decadence, peer group influences, broken homes and high rate of poverty in the country as the causes. He further stressed that cultism breeds violence, bloodletting and closure of institutions as well as disruption of academic life and encouraged the students to shun membership of any secret cult. The speaker also recommended a measure of religiosity among youths as this will help combat cultism issue.

Meanwhile, when speaking earlier, the Provost of AOCOED, Mr. Olalekan Bashorun opined that youths are crucial factors in nation building since they possess characteristics which make them a potential force in the development of any nation. According to him youths have better physical strength, greater knowledge acquisition propensity, less fear of failure, are less conservative and highly innovative. In his words, ‘nations must exploit these characteristics of youths to foster development.

The second guest speaker at the event, Bar. Bola .S. Disu, Registrar Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto/Ijanikin (AOCOED), also urged the youths to believe in themselves and always do the right thing at every moment. With skill and masterful act like that of an orator, Bar.Disu use short stories to teach the youth valuable lessons. ‘Your little action anywhere you are matters.’ he told them.

The event was climaxed with a question and answer session where students were given the opportunity to ask questions and air their views also. Among the questions asked by some of the students were: what are the government and educators doing with respect to the present educational decadence in the state, and what they are also doing to ensure that education is affordable for all. In response, the guest speakers assured the students that the government is indeed doing something about the situation and advised them never to resort to violence but to keep appealing to the government and making their voice heard.

According to the organizers of the programme Mr. Femi Keshiro, Director, CEFOLASS and Mr. Abayomi Medemaku, National President, NULASS, the event will be further held in other parts of the state such as Ikeja, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Epe at a later date before the end of the year.

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