Dayo Johnson Akure
A former Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola has said that satellite campuses were responsible for producing poor, half baked and unemployable graduates in the country.
Okebukola said this while delivering the 4th and 5th convocation lecture of the Elizade University, llara- Mokin, in Ondo state.
He spoke on: ‘Does Nigeria’s Development Cap fit the Nigeria University System?.
According to him” universities should not be allowed to operate satellite campuses.
Okebukola said if he had the ways he would close down all satellite campuses as he did 20 years ago when he held sway at the NUC.
According to him ” the severe financial handicap inflicted especially on state-owned universities made them literally sell their certificates through running poorly delivered courses in poorly-resourced campuses far from the main campus.
” The institutions ended up admitting all manner of persons into the satellite campuses to make up for the shortfall in revenue thereby bringing the quality of education down.
“Those are places we are the demeaning quality of our university education. Graduates from satellite campuses are less than half baked.”
On funding, Okebukola said universities would respond in greater measure to the needs of the society if adequately funded.
He explained that the university system could only contribute based on the available resources within its capacity.
Nigerian Universities, according to him were faced with challenges, militating against their contribution to better the country.
He highlighted the universities challenges to include lack of adequate funding, research capacity deficit, poor curriculum delivery, and policy incoherence and implementation inconsistency.
Okebukola said the country must rethink its investment model in university education as sell as provide sustainable funding for the universities.
“I say the Nigeria university system fit the development cap to the extent that it is delivering value for the quantum of money invested in it. The cap has some sectoral fit, especially in human capacity development.
“The Nigeria university system also does not fit the development cap because its huge potential to better respond to the development agenda of the country is weakly explored owing to paltry investment.”
Prof. Okebukola however commended the management of Elizade university for setting a global standard among other tertiary institutions.
He specifically congratulated Elizade university on the NUC accreditation of all 24 programmes in Administration, Agriculture, Arts, Engineering, Law, Sciences and Social Sciences.
In a remark, the Vice-Chancellor, Elizade University, Prof. Olukayode Amund described the non-establishment of Vocational schools as a major flaw to the implementation of the 6:3:3:4 system of education.