By Patrick Ahanor
Former Minister of Power and ex- Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday, took a swipe at state and private tertiary institutions in Nigeria, describing them as “glorified secondary schools.”
Prof. Nebo, who advocated for minimum point of entry obtainable in the banking sector, urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to do the needful by insisting on quality control in the nation’s university system especially states and private universities, saying “many of what we refer to as private and even state universities cannot even be rightly called glorified secondary schools.”
The ex-minister stated this while delivering the University of Benin 43rd convocation lecture titled: “Education at Crossroads in Nigeria”.
Nebo also attributed “policy summersaults, decapitation of technological arrowhead and instability in the system” as impediments in the nation’s education system.
He said: “Recently, hundreds of students woke up one morning to learn that their courses were not accredited and can no longer be offered by the school.
“This is wrong. No student should have been admitted into an unaccredited or unapproved course in an unaccredited institution. The heart of any university consists of its faculty.”
Continuing, Nebo stated: “Let me illustrate with my experience in the University as Vice Chancellor of UNN in June 2004 to the end of that administration in June 2009. I worked with six ministers of education
“They were Prof. Fabian Osuji, Mrs. Chinwe Nora Obaji, Dr. (Mrs.) Oby Ezekwesili, Dr. Abba Ruma, Dr. Igwe Nwanchukwu and Dr. Sam Egwu.
“Six ministers of education during a five-year tenure as vice chancellor leaves them with an average tenure of barely a year in office.
“This is a most undesirable picture and can never lead to any meaningful improvement in the already murky terrain of the Nigerian education system,” he said.