Scholars restate need for prioritisation of education
The consensus was reached yesterday during a lecture organised in honour of foremost poet and playwright, Prof. John Pepper Clark, by the Department of English, University of Lagos (UNILAG). It was also to mark the department’s 55th anniversary.
According to Prof. Gordini G. Darah, who delivered a lecture on “The Humanities and the Redemption of Africa”, the struggle for politics and power had made Africa inferior to other continents even though those other continents are regarded as her grandchildren.
He said: “Redemption means we return to appreciating our own. Government is lagging behind; we need to make the subject of education a priority. We are still struggling with what the colonial masters left for us over 100 years ago. They have moved on leaving these things behind and we are still here.”
On her part, Clark’s wife, Prof. Ebun Clark, said Africa was the cradle of world civilisation, emphasising that all religions have both physical and spiritual sides.
“In Africa, politics is where our money goes, not on intellectuals. We need to put pressure on our government to invest more in education as the future of the country depends on it,” she said.
Head, Department of English, UNILAG, Prof. Hope Eghagha, said the need to restore history to Nigerian schools could not be over-emphasised, saying: “The young people coming up do not have the history of Nigeria. If we are conscious of where we are coming from, then we can understand where we are, and know where we ought to go. Philosophy is a way of life for the Africans. It is embedded in our culture, and it is what we translate everyday.”
Besides, former Commissioner for Information, Delta State, Mr. Chike Ogeah, who represented former Governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, said: “In my time, we had the best education and it is not so anymore. I think something went wrong. We need to focus on education that would require skills.”
Poet and polemicist, Mr. Odia Ofeimun, stated that society was infringing on universities.
He, therefore, called on the need to turn the whole society into a school where people would be taught how to communicate.
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