By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–THE Vice Chancellor of Veritas University,Abuja,Prof. Hyacinth Ichoku,has said Nigerian education standard has not fallen as being projected in some quarters.
He said Nigerian students can excel in their various fields of study given the same opportunities as their counterparts in the outside world.
Prof. Ichoku said the recent victory of Veritas University in All African Universities Debate Championship in Nairobi, Kenya,was an indication that the nation’s education standard was not down.
According to him,the success of the school in the championship shows that “things are happening and that some people and in some areas are excelling.”
The Roman Catholic priest,who was reacting to the victory of the school in the continental debate championship and its representation in the World Universities Debate Championship in Madrid, Spain,said:”Victory has been achieved in not just winning the Nigerian debating club championship but also representing Nigeria in All African Universities Debate Championship that has just been concluded in Nairobi and emerging the winner and champion of that debate championship.
“It is great news for us, it is great news for Veritas University, it is great news for Nigeria, it is great news for our students and everybody, underlying the fact that yes,we cry about the quality of education,the falling standard of education in Nigeria and challenges in education sector, but it also means that things are happening and that some people and in some areas,we are excelling.”
“Winning the championship opens new set of opportunities for us because the students who won the championship will now represent Africa not Nigeria, in the intercontinental debate that would happen in New York from April 1,2023 and furthermore,they would also go to Madrid, Spain to represent Nigeria in the global universities debate championship in June.
“This shows that our students are working hard that given the same opportunities with their counterparts elsewhere,they can excel.”
Recall that Veritas University,Abuja, recently won the 2022 edition of the All African Universities Debate, beating over 100 other public and private universities across African continent that contested in the highly rated African debate tournament.
The Roman Catholic established and funded university,located in Bwari,in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city,won the revered debate tournament when the performances of its delegates to the just concluded event held in Stratford University Nairobi, in Kenya,were adjudged the best.
The university which came first after beating over a hundred other universities from different parts of Africa will represent Africa in the Intercontinental Debate in New York on April 1, 2023 and World Universities Debate in Madrid, Spain in June 2023 ,respectively.”
Prof. Ichoku, while announcing this at a press conference in Abuja,had said:”It was another landslide victory for the Veritas University Debate Society as it wades her way through the over 100 debate teams across Africa to emerge champion at the just concluded 14th African University Debate championship in Nairobi, Kenya.
“The finals which saw Veritas University Debate Society to the top held on Tuesday 15th December, 2022.
“It was a stiff competition between debate clubs comprising public and private universities across the length and breadth of Africa among which were; University of Ghana, Kwameh Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Strathmore University, Alex Ekwueme University, to mention but a few.
“Kwameh Nkrumah University of Science and Technology followed Veritas University closely in the second position while University of Ghana made it to the third position.
“By this victory, Veritas University Debate Society is the first to bring the African Debate Trophy to Nigeria.
“Veritas University Debate Society would represent Nigeria at the 43rd edition of the Madrid World Universities Debate Championship which would hold from December 27th 2022 to January 4th 2023 in Spain.”
The participation of Veritas University Debate Society,in the All African Universities Debate, followed its earlier emergence as winner in the 2022 edition of the Uyo City Open Debate Championship which held from 19 -23rd May, 2022 at the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, from where it defeated clubs from University of Calabar, University of Lagos, University of Ilorin and twenty others to qualify for the African tournament.
“Despite the challenges confronting tertiary education, a remarkable feat like this coming from the private sector, is a giant stride in salvaging the nation’s education system thereby retaining its place as the giant of Africa,”Ichoku had said.