By Martin Paul Abuja
Vice-Chancellors, Osun State University, Professor Labode Popoola has berated Nigerian universities of training students for jobs that no longer exist. Popoola made the assertion in a lecture delivered at the maiden postgraduate lecture series of Kaduna State University (KASU). Th e vice chancellor said that the development was in sharp contrast with what obtained in world class universities, which were training students for future jobs. Th e don said that the absence of meaningful research in the universities had crippled the quest for creativity and innovation required to unleash sustainable development.
He said contemporary Nigerian universities and research systems could not contribute to national development “due to absence of academic culture that drives process for good governance”. According to him, graduates of world class universities were sought after because they carry out leadingedge research and are engaged in technology transfer. “Th is can only be obtained where there is high concentration of talented lecturers and students, abundant resources and favourable governance.
“But, what do we see in Nigerian universities, poor funding, poor planning, collapse of academic culture, corruption and blurred vision among others”, Ppoola said. He advised the academia in to come up with new ideas and engage the rest of the world through inter and multi-disciplinary research collaboration. Chairman on the occasion, Prof. A.S. Nwankwo of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, described the lecture as crucial in the discourse of relevance of the Nigerian universities to the society.
On his part, Dr. Abubakar Saddique of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who was the lead discussant, traced the root of challenges in the education system to poor service delivery at the basic level. He said that students were poorly prepared at primary and secondary school levels for university education, adding that the business of universities was to identify societal problems and conduct researches to solve them.
“Since Nigerian universities cannot adequately prepare their students to eff ectively address contemporary problems, how can they prepare them for challenges of the future? “Th e country needs a bottom up approach from the basic to the tertiary institutions to be able to address the rot in the system”, he added. Earlier, the Dean, Post Graduate School, KASU, Prof. Abdullahi Ashafa said that post graduate students represented the pool for the next generation of academicians. Ashafa explained that the lecture was designed to address the issue of quality of training in the university system, to ensure competitiveness of graduates in the continuously changing world. (NAN)