Oby Ezekwesili Seeks Reform Of Nigeria's Basic Education.. Tasks FUNAAB Scholars To Lead Crusade - EDU-BIZNEWS


Saturday, August 12, 2023

Oby Ezekwesili Seeks Reform Of Nigeria's Basic Education.. Tasks FUNAAB Scholars To Lead Crusade

Nigeria's former Minister of Education, Dr.Obiageli Ezekwesili has called for immediate  reform of public basic education system, in order to address what she described as depreciating standard of  foundational education in the country

Ezekwesili delivering the 30th Convocation lecture of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) titled "Education System and Youth Development" on Saturday, also tasked the new holders of  Doctor of Phyllosophy Degree of the university, to use their knowledge in various fields of specialization to lead the crusade for the mush needed reform in the public basic education

"We don't have a functional education system these days because the education is not programme to meet the needs of the country", she lamented 

She expressed concern that nine out of every ten children can not achieve proficiency in literacy at the basic education level, saying the ugly trend must be reversed by scholars and other stakeholders in the education sector, so as to lay a solid foundation for quality products that would be useful at both secondary and tertiary levels of education

The Guest Lecturer attributed the current challenges of insecurity in the country to lack of access to functional public primary education by the children of poor parents who can't afford the quality of the basic education being enjoyed by the children of the middle class in private schools  

The former Vice President of World Bank explained that the reform must include total review of basic education curriculum and proper funding of basic public education by the tiers of government to make qualitative education accessible to every Nigerian child irrespective socio-economic status of the family

According to her, "funding of public basic education by government at all levels is the most important in the education sector not tertiary education"

She also suggested that the academics in tertiary institutions should update the  teaching skills and include their students in the reviewing the current curriculum  to reflect realities of the present needs in various fields 

The former Minister then charged the 2,823 graduates and post graduates including 16 Post Graduate Diploma holders, 215 Master's Degree holders and 113 PhD holders to prepare themselves for global competition in highly challenging environment

She identified the need for them to have foundational skills, digital skills as well as emotional quotient to handle every challenges at work place, in addition to regular acquisition of relevant skills for them to excel in  their respective fields 

Also speaking at the event, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is a visitor to the university, expressed the commitment of his administration to ensuring provision of qualitative education at all levels

Tinubu represented by Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe , also asked Nigerians to have a renewed hope in his declaration of emergency in the agricultural sector , pledging to work closely with relevant stakeholders including FUNAAB and research institutions to actualize the agenda of food security in the country

Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Olusola Babatunde Kehinde equally called on the graduands to be partners in the development of their Alma-Mata by complimenting the infrastructural development in the institution

He  urged them to emulate the role played by one of the alumni members of the university, Seun Onigbinde who built a Tech-Hub on the campus for students to develop their skills in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in addition to upgrading of the facilities at the institution's main library complex

Chancellor of the university, Obong of Calabar, Edidem Expo Okon was full for praises for the transformation of the university to a world class institution, particularly the completion of the inherited capital projects by the incumbent Vice Chancellor

He listed the projects to include 200-capacity Undergraduate Students hostel, 
Animal Demonstration Laboratory, 300-seater Lecture Theatre with service centre equipped with Digital classrooms, two different 300-seater Theatre with auditorium each, Academic office Complex with Seminar Rooms and E-library , Post Graduate Students hostel as well as two separate hostels for the under graduate students

Dignitaries including former Vice Chancellor of FUNAAB, Prof Oluwafemi 
Balogun, pioneer librarian Dr. Taofeek Salisu, other pioneer principal officers of the institution traditional rulers including Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewa land, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, the Ataoja of Oshogbo, former members of the university's Governing Council representative of Crescent University, Abeokuta, Caleb University, Lagos, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode attended the event 

The week long activities concluded with a grand reception at the Pro-Chancellor lodge on the campus with music and variety of foods for guests 

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