Osinbajo indicts academic staff for roles in destruction of education system

Osinbajo indicts academic staff for roles in destruction of education system

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 7:55 pm

Professor Yemi Osinbajo

Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan

Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday bluntly told the lecturers and administrators of Nigeria’s universities and other arms of tertiary institutions that they play huge roles in destroying the nation’s educational system.

Osibajo expressed this in Ibadan at the 13th Regional Conference of Higher Education Research and Policy Network, HERPNET, organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Social And Economic Research, NISER.

The theme of the conference is, “Managing corruption in African higher education systems”.

Osibajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and a university teacher who was represented by a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Sadiq Radda at the event, stressed that the current state of education in the country and in Africa generally could not be divorced from the roles played by the lecturers and universities’ administrators.

The Vice President lamented that often people blame the government, the parents and the students for the rot in the system without paying attention to the huge disservices of lecturers, staffs and administrators of the tertiary institutions as major stakeholders of the educational sector.

According to him, corruption starts with basic things such as not doing the right thing at the right time to condoning unethical and criminal behaviour within the institutions pointing out, “Perhaps the discussion here today may start with everyone accepting the fact that the responsibility of killing corruption from our institutions rest on us”.

He stated, “Many times, we pass the buck. We blame government for underfunding higher institutions and the students for not being diligent enough. We blame parents for the rot in our higher institutions, while we ignore the fact that as lecturers and administrators, we contribute to the state of education in our countries. Corruption starts with basic things such as not doing the right thing at the right time to condoning unethical and criminal behaviour within our institutions. Worst still, when we allow such to become the order of the day”.

He emphasised, “If we must address the issue of corruption and find an enduring solution to it, we ought to pay particular attention to basic things such as the admission process, our commitment to students wellbeing; how we adhere to lecture timetable, examine scripts marked and when results are released, when students get their certificate after graduation, the employment process, promotion, training opportunities for academic and non-academic staff, relationship between students and the lecturers, effective complaint mechanism and the protection of the complainant, due process in the award of contract and so many other things. These may appear basic but are strong indicators of a functional educational system which places any institution at an advantage to compete at the global level”.

He concluded, “When limited resources are well managed for the benefit of our institutions, when staff have a sense of belonging and students are optimistic about their prospects because everyone is committed to their wellbeing, when the quality and consistency of information received and research carried out are certain, our institutions in Africa will stand out”.

In his remark, HERPNET President, Professor Olukolade Odekunle said the group is so sensitive to government’s laudable policies and programmes gear towards sustainable development and the thinking is how corruption can be effectively managed through the instrumentality of higher education.

Director-General, NISER, Dr Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, who declared the conference open, noted that although he was initially reluctant in hosting the conference because of paucity of funds, he was persuaded by the conference theme and his passion to ensure the development of research and educational sector of the country and the continent at large.

While bemoaning the high level of corruption in Nigeria and the African continent, Gbadebo urged the participants at the conference to come up with workable solution that would help address the issue of corruption in the tertiary institutions.

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