By Adesina Wahab
The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. Isaq Oloyede, has called on the government to declare and prosecute a state of emergency in the education sector with a view to addressing all the challenges facing it comprehensively.
Oloyede, who was the Guest Speaker at the 2021 Faculty of Arts, Lagos State University, LASU, Annual Lecture in Lagos on Thursday, also called for an increase in budgetary allocations to the sector that at least would be comparable with African countries with lower Gross Domestic Product, GDP, than Nigeria’s but have nonetheless given education the priority it deserves.
His lecture was titled ” Normalising the abnormal: JAMB operations during the COVID-19 era.”
“Apart from the state of emergency in the sector and allocating more funds, we must return excellence and competence as the main criteria for the recruitment of staff, not clannish or ethnic patronage.
“We must also improve learning resources and infrastructure in our schools preparatory for another pandemic which it is hoped, would not be here soon,” he stated.
Oloyede also called on stakeholders in the education sector to strive towards establishing pedigree of integrity by sticking to honesty, probity, and transparency in examination processes.
Recalling some of the steps taken by the Board in the face of the outbreak of the pandemic to make its operations easier and better, he said manual payment for applications was eliminated and the use of Point of Sales machine and online payment adopted.
Oloyede, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, Kwara State, also noted that VCs in Nigerian universities have to contend with issues such as the provision of municipal services that the larger society ought to have taken care of.
“Municipal services like the provision of electricity, potable water and even accommodation have become serious issue that VCs in our universities are contending with. In advanced climes, those things are not their headache. If those things are taken away from the issues our VCs are contending with, they would do well,” he said.
In her speech, the Vice Chancellor, LASU, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said the COVID-19 pandemic engendered various responses from different angles.
“These responses have given rise to multidisciplinary research efforts across the fields of medicine, pharmacy, sociology and even philosophy. As a result of this, it has triggered multiple discursive processes relating to the cause, spread, and measures taken by the government to confront and combat the disease in order to check further spread and fatalities, “she said.
She described Oloyede as a mentor to many and that his performance as JAMB boss showed that public offices could still be occupied by dedicated persons.
The Chairman of the occasion, Hon. Victor Akande, commended the university management and the faculty for putting up such a great event.
The Dean of the faculty, Prof. Tayo Ajayi, thanked Oloyede for honouring the invitation to deliver the lecture.