Collapse of education sector may lead to a failed nation, don warns

Education should take a central stage in Nigeria’s national development aspirations, strategizing and plan implementation. PHOTO: Shutterstock

A former professor of Economics at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Folayan Ojo, has urged government at all levels to urgently address critical issues in the education sector warning that the collapse of education may lead to a failed nation.

Ojo, a former Commissioner for Rural Development and Water Resources in the old Ondo State who spoke at the launch of the Volume Two of his autobiography “A dream Fulfilled” warned that disaster looms in the country if the crisis in the education sector is not urgently addressed.

He said, “The reality is that any country that cannot successfully cater for education will not make meaningful progress in any area of human endeavour. We should note that the collapse of education is the collapse of the nation. In essence, fixing the challenges confronting the sector is a sine qua non to tackling the challenges in other areas of our individual and national endeavour.

“More than before; and as it happened in the defunct western region, all the components of our education system need urgent and radical overhaul. Education should take a central stage in Nigeria’s national development aspirations, strategizing and plan implementation. Of course for such to happen, there is need for a reformed way of our doing things, including a frontal attack on corruption. The goal should be to attain a sound educational system that could sustain Nigeria and make it more competitive globally.”

He argued that rather than clamouring for more universities, and comparing or competing with other universities of the world in terms of numbers, the comparison should be related to other parameters such as resource availability, governments’ political will to take decisive actions and to efficiently utilise available resources.

According to him, “The carrying capacity of some of the existing universities is terribly low, they have relatively low numbers of students each. The federal government established universities indiscriminately and without much planning; some states did the same to the extent that some of them have three universities each; apart from the presence of a federal university in each of the states. Two examples readily come to mind, Ondo and Ogun States. How can a state government that cannot effectively pay workers’ salaries manage three universities? It is ridiculous. To really make the federal and state universities more functional and viable, some of them should be merged.

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EducationFolayan OjoUNILAG
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