How to boost human capital development, by Mimiko
TO realise the desired dream of having a well-trained and highly employable crop of educated youths that are needed to drive the economic and industrial development of growing societies like Nigeria, Ondo State Governor; Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has recommended that government strategy must focus on merging access and standard in the process of education delivery.
He said provision of high standard of education through employment of quality teachers and availability of adequate instructional materials and other inputs in a student-friendly environment must be accompanied by the creation of access to members of all strata of the society through high reduction of fees.
According to the governor who spoke at the send-forth dinner organized by the Governing Council of the state-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) in honour of the institution’s immediate former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olufemi Mimiko, “creating world class educational institutions with accessibility to all the classes of the society is required if Nigeria must get it right in the area of human capital development.”
The governor disclosed that his administration had recognized the importance of this strategy since its inception stressing that “that is why we spared no effort in improving the academic and infrastructural conditions in our tertiary institutions and created affordability by being the least paying schools among government-owned institutions in the country.
“The unprecedented increase in the capital projects at AAUA and others is a deliberate policy that was driven by our desire to have the best for our institutions in terms in terms of quality of scholarship and infrastructure.
“At the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, for instance, what we put in place as infrastructure in four years is more than double what was put there in the previous 23 years. Yet the fees are the lowest in the country despite the fact that both the polytechnic and AAUA have been adjudged the best state-owned polytechnic and university respectively.”
Mimiko said the same strategy is being applied to the health sector of the state because “we also have the highest standard of healthcare delivery in Nigeria and in most cases, access is free particularly in our Mother and Child Hospitals across the state.
“At these specialized hospitals that were established to handle child and maternal care, we have 187/100,000 mortality rate which is adjudged the best in this clime. Even those hospitals adjudged as first class have 2000/100,000 mortality rate. And yet services in these hospitals are absolutely free.”
The governor however gave kudos to the former VC at the gathering attended by top government functionaries and academics including the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the AAUA board, Ambassador Oladele Akadiri as well as the new VC, Professor Igbekele Ajibefun for “raising the bar of excellence at the institution.”
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