Unless Nigerian universities step up and stop recycling “outdated and inapplicable theories”, they may continue to litter the country with graduates who cannot solve problem, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has warned.
Akeredolu issued the caution on Saturday at the 12th and 13th combined convocation ceremonies of the Ajayi Crowther University in Oyo State.
The governor said Nigerian universities must start producing problem-solvers and not just certificate holders if they must remain relevant.
“The current process of certification, promoted vigorously by a system which appears content churning out graduates without requisite capacity for the qualifications with which they are saddled, must be reviewed,” Akeredolu’s Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, quoted him to have said at the convocation ceremonies.
“Our universities must not be seen as centres of preparing young people for an ultimate carnival-like procession culminating in the award of degrees and diplomas which are a veritable embarrassment to the holders.
“Certificates are mere evidence of participation in a process. They do not necessarily bear testimonies to capacity. The disturbing reality which finds expression in the presence of multitude of unemployed graduates in an underdeveloped country should be a source of deep anxiety.
“While inadequate funding may be adduced as a factor militating against qualitative education, it is disingenuous and escapist to look away from the fundamental cause of progressive rot in the system.
There has been a disconnect between the social realities and the pretentious emptiness served as diets of instruction,” Akeredolu lamented.
The governor stressed that, “Any institution of higher learning or research centre whose focus is not on these practical means of coming out of doldrums, betrays its mandate.”
The governor added that universities must continue to educate youths on ways to get the country out of its current challenges.
“They must enlighten us about the concept of federalism. We must know the limits and responsibilities of states as component units in a federation.
“We should be certain of the meaning of a constitution as the basic law of a democratic country. There must not be doubts as regards political ideas such as sovereignty, legitimacy, rights and duties of citizens.
“They must educate the people to understand why all authorities must be subordinate to the people and civil service must be made to actualize this objective.
“Our centres of research and learning must be ready to come up with innovations on how best to plant our food and feed our people. We must depend on our children to fix our roads, hospitals and secure the land,” he said.
Governor Akeredolu was conferred with an award of Doctor of Laws during the convocation ceremonies.