By Shina Abubakar
The former Executive Secretary of the Nigeria University Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola has disclosed that the declining state of education in Nigeria is redeemable if stakeholders genuinely take concrete steps to arrest the menace.
He said the problem is a global phenomenon, but while the developed society approach to tackling the menace is genuine and pragmatic, Nigeria and other African countries resorted to mere rhetorics.
READ ALSO: Buratai calls for intensification of religious education to counter violent extremism ideas
Speaking at a colloquium organised to celebrate Professor Oluremi Aina’s 80th birthday celebration tagged; “The Place and State of Education in Nigeria’s Development: Imperative and Urgency of Reform”, he said the dry bones of quality education would rise again.
According to the speaker, to revert the declining quality of education, the plagues eating it up must be tackled by all stakeholders.
Some of the plagues, in his view, include teachers, students, parents, government, infrastructure, social vices and curriculum related.
He said all stakeholders in the sector contributed to the decline in quality of education, saying it is time to stop the blame game and focus on redeeming the situation.
The don added that it is time to intensify the awareness, especially among the communities with a dense population of out-of-school children, with a view to enhancing enrollment in schools.
He advocated for increased investment to make school joyful to attend, adding that an attractive reward system is also germane to the revitalizing quality of education in the country.
“The quality of education originally recorded from the 1960s has depreciated to date.
Quantity has now appreciated exponentially. However, the blame for the poor state of education cuts across all sectors of stakeholders.
Funding has been drastically reduced, as Western imperialism weighed against the quality of funding as dramatized by the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). Moral decadence at all levels has continued to plague our education sector.
There has been insufficient adoption and application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), as well as low rating of technical and vocational education.
Besides, policy formulation is not matched by implementation. And there is a poor reward system for key players in the sector”, he identified.
Providing solutions to the menace, other contributors to Professors Funmi Toguno-Bikersteth, Modupe Adelabu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President Job creation and youth empowerment, Afolabi Imoukhuede, all opined that quality of education in all sectors must be improved, as well as formulate home grown policies to tackle peculiar challenges in Nigeria.
In the colloquium communiqué, presented by Dr. Toyin Senayon, it stated that Moral decadence in our society needs to be addressed to impact positively on the education sector.
READ ALSO: Okebukola opposes NUT’s request to convert non-teaching staff to classroom teachers in Lagos
“There must be prompt adoption of ICT for effective and cutting edge education. Vocational and Technical Education must be seen as key to our development.
Policy formulation must be matched by implementation to attain and maintain quality education.
All stakeholders should rise up to the challenge of attaining quality education in Nigeria”.
Osunrotimi State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi extolled the virtues of the celebrant, describing him as one worthy of emulation by the younger generation.
Oyetola stated that the celebrant is a mentor for the youth, saying he rose from a primary and secondary school teacher to national limelight.
Some of the guests at the event include, Chief Bisi Akande, General Alani Akinrinade, Professor Isiaq Oloyede, Professor Sola Adeyeye, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Professor Femi Odekunle among others.