Vice-Chancellor Advocates Necessity-based Education for National Development
The Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Charles Ayo, has proposed an educational system that is based on needs or that is necessity focused, which according to him, would address the socio-political and economic woes of the nation.
“For education to be impactful, meaningful and translate to nation building, it must be based on the needs of the country. This drives industrialisation and self-sufficiency in all sectors of the economy.”
Professor Ayo made the suggestion on Thursday, June 4, 2015, while delivering a paper titled, “Education in the National Development Plan: Challenges and the Way Forward”, at the annual Leaders’ Forum of the Nigerian Institute of Training and Development in Lagos.
The Vice-Chancellor, who was the Guest Speaker at the event, stressed that the need-based education would bring food, health, infrastructure and industrialisation, among others. “Giving the right education is the antidote for all the vices we have in the society,” he added.
Taking a look at the various educational reforms the country had adopted in the past, Professor Ayo argued that the reforms were not the challenge but lack of proper implementation.
He said, “Nigeria had witnessed a number of reforms cutting across the various tiers of education without success. Yet, school at various levels are expected to develop future leaders that will harness the human and material resources of the nation for national development.
“Thus, the gap in our quest to develop Nigeria to an appreciable standard with self-sufficiency in agriculture, medicine, technology, etc, is a pointer to the fact that the current educational system has not resulted in nation building.”
The Professor of Computer Science and Management Information System, noted that the first and second generation universities had the mandate to contribute to national development by paying attention to the challenges in the society; however, the major problem that the nation is faced with today, according to him, arose because of the disconnect between the educational system and developmental issues.
He affirmed that a developed nation is one in which there is very reduced level of poverty, there is adequate provision of food, shelter and clothing for the populace; there is functional public facilities; there is appreciable level of industrialisation with home-grown technologies; functional industries; very reduced level of unemployment; adequate security of lives and property as well as high level of literacy and education with adequate access, among others.
Professor Ayo, strongly recommended Israeli example of quality education with entrepreneurial spirit and the United States’ Land Granted Model, which Covenant University, according to him, has adopted towards nation building.
“The Covenant University Model was based on the needs of the nation. It was established to solve the challenges related to employability and leadership. We have employed US (Land-granted) and Israeli (Entrepreneurship) approaches. We have acquired over 50, 000 acres of land, we are in partnership with the Songhai Centre and our Palm Trees are already yielding fruits; processing will commence next year.” He told the audience.
“We do not need rocket science to put Nigeria back on track. All that is necessary now is to capitalise on the raw materials that are available in the country, and produce skilled manpower to convert them to the desired products for national development,” he advised.