The authorities of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, on Thursday said that Nigeria’s tertiary institutions could not scale through international rating because of their irregular academic calendars. Mr Wasiu Bashorun, the Provost, AOCOED, Ijanikin, told newsmen in Lagos, on the sidelines of the send forth for the college’s former registrar, Mr Bola Disu.
“If you look at the institutions of higher learning in the country, students’ union leaders, the authorities and government are all getting it wrong.
“Each and everyone of us is supposed to know the rules and guidelines of our institutions. “So, what I am talking about now is that we need to know the dictates, rules, ethics and confines of the institution, and work within them.
“And these are parts of the problems we have been having in our tertiary institutions, not necessarily AOCOED, because I can speak of tertiary institutions in Lagos State. “The union leaders do not know their limits, and the school authorities are not forceful enough in enforcing them.
“It took me a long time to realise that beyond AOCOED, it is high time that the government supports the school authorities in decision-making.
“Especially decisions to ensure that academic activities are not disrupted as a result of unionism, students’ unrest and so on.
“This is the most obvious reason for the irregular academic calendar, and we need to ensure that it is limited,’’ the provost said. He said, however, that anyone who had gone beyond his or her confines to contribute meaningfully to the development of the society should be appreciated and rewarded. According to him, Disu contributed meaningfully to the growth of the institution and put in over two decades of meritorious service to the institution.
He said that just as people were being rewarded for meritorious service, so also should there be sanctions on defaulters, to strike a balance.
Disu said on the occasion that those personnel in the tertiary institutions, whether as a vice-chancellor, provost, lecturer or student, all had sacrosanct duties to perform. “It is must be done to the best of our abilities, because it is not by chance that we were given the opportunities.
“We have to mould the children, the future of the country; we cannot afford to toy with them, we must put in our best,’’ he said.
Disu said that the incoming government had been given a historic duty to perform, and should give education a priority. “Education is not an industry to be treated like any other industry. “As far back as the `50s and `60s, Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the defunct Western Region put 50 per cent of the budgetary allocation into education. “If today we are celebrating 10, eight or 13 per cent of the budgetary allocation to education, then we need to do more.
“UNESCO has said 26 per cent; but for us in the tertiary institutions, it should be more than that. “Because if you get it right in education, you get it right in any other sector. But if you get it wrong in education, then forget about other sectors. “The new government must endeavour to systematically increase the budgetary allocation in education,’’ the former registrar said. According to him, education is expensive and may not get the result in a short while, but will definitely reap a good fruit.
“A Yoruba adage says that if you build bridges and structures and you do not build children, the children will grow up to destroy the bridges and structures,’’ he said. Disu, however, chastised the school authorities on how they utilised their allocations. “It is now left for us in the industry to be mindful of how we spend the allocation. “To whom much is given, much is expected; so, whether a vice-chancellor, provost, registrar, please ensure you carry out your duty because it is a sacred duty,’’ he said.
The former registrar said that with good education, there will be no terrorist attacks. “Our children in the North-East will realise that they have a stake in the country; thus the need for their protection,” Disu added. (Vanguard)