By Demola Akinyemi
A frontline educationist and Chancellor of Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Prince (Dr) Ramon Adegoke Adedoyin has called on the federal government to stop further approval of licenses to private universities and because many of them are of poor standard.
Dr Adedoyin was reacting to the recent lecture delivered at the 14th convocation of Benson Idahosa University, Benin-City by the Executive Secretary National Universities Commission, Prof AdamuAbubakarRasheed recently where he called on private universities in Nigeria to sustain efforts towards achieving the vision to become institutions with globally competitive standards for which they were established.
Dr Adedoyin believed that stoppage in the granting of further licensing of private universities will enable the existing ones to stabilize and achieve this vision as many of them are still operating like glorified secondary schools with little or no infrastructure.
He therefore called on the federal government to institute a serious monitoring committee that would ensure that all private universities in Nigeria operate strictly according to the laid down rules and regulations.
According to him,”There are so many private universities in Nigeria today that do not worth it,so many of them.The facilities and the manpower are not just there and this is dangerous for the future of Nigeria’s education and particularly the purpose for which they are supposed to be created”
“In view of this ,it is my considered opinion that the federal government stop further approval of the license of private universities in Nigeria for now,and allow the existing ones to thrive and achieve the mandates for which they are created. The federal government must indeed see to it that the existing private universities that are deficient in one way or the other live up to their expectations and do not put the future of our education in jeopardy. After these are done,then we can talk of further approval of private universities”
Buttressing his point on the stoppage of the licensing of new university, Dr Adedoyin said Nigeria could borrow a leaf from Ghana university system where new private colleges have to go through a minimum of ten years of mentorship and affiliation to an existing university before becoming fully chartered and approved.
He observed that during the ten years of mentorship and affiliation, any serious college would have acquired enough experience and facilities and grown to become full-fledged university.
Adedoyin particularly decried the way lecturers who are PhD holders in private universities in Nigeria jump from one university to another each time new universities are approved by the NUC adding that such inconsistencies create fresh problem for the university system
He also enjoined the government to provide adequate funding for public universities so that they could serve as models to private universities noting that many private universities have overtaken public universities in terms of structures.
Dr Adedoyin who noted that most private universities in Nigeria face challenges in the low number of candidates applying to them because of higher school fees however observed that most candidates would have preferred to attend private schools because of advantages over public ones such as better quality assurance because of smooth and uninterrupted academic programmes, low tolerance for cultism and other social vices among others
He also suggested that distance learning programmes should be discouraged for now and when done the students of such distance learning programmes should attend lectures at the parent universities and mixed up during examinations so as not to bastardise the standard of education.