The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Dr Wale Babalakin, has said that Nigeria’s education sector is in dire need of urgent restructuring, which will enable it to stay abreast of technological development around the World.
Speaking during the seventh convocation lecture of Kwara State University, Malete, on Saturday, Babalakin charged the Federal Government and the states to restructure and inject adequate funds into the system so as to turn out employable graduates.
The pro-chancellor, who spoke on the topic, The desperate need to reposition Nigeria’s education sector, lamented the decay in the education sector. For emphasis, he pointed out that the University College Hospital in Ibadan, which ranked fourth among Medical schools in the Commonwealth of Nations in 1974, had ceased to appear on the list, while Nigeria’s best university is ranked 800th in the world.
“However, there is hope but we have to start afresh. We must have an educational system that is globally competitive. A university should be properly funded. The world is not waiting for us. The world will start to respect us if we make our universities world class. Even when we say there is no money, I believe that with an ingenious application, the money will become available.”
Wale Babalakin charged the Kwara State Government to use KWASU as a pilot to restructure education by providing adequate funding, saying that a situation where a grant was not provided to the university in the last five years did not augur well for the provision of quality education.
The Pro-Chancellor, Wale Babalakin who is the Chairman, Agreement Renegotiation Committee of Nigerian Universities also decried the overpopulation of pupils in secondary schools without adequate facilities to ensure quality learning. He advised the government to promote free education if affordable, but insisted that quantity should not be sacrificed for quality.
In his address, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq reiterated his administration’s commitment to transforming the university into the Silicon Valley of the country in its determination to build a state with zero hunger and the capacity to feed the country.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, also challenged the institution to join his administration in its plan to make the state the agricultural hub of West Africa by coming up with cutting edge technology and ideas to realise the vision.
On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, said the major challenge facing the university was funding, as the university had not received a subvention from the government for five years.