Okowa tasks varsities’ alumni associations
WORRIED by the sorry state of Nigeria universities, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has challenged alumni associations to redeem the image of universities just as he decried situation where most Nigerians now seek to attend universities.
Okowa who spoke yesterday in Asaba when members of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) visited him, said that in time past Nigeria universities were sort after by foreigners who trooped in their thousands.
The governor an alumnus of the University of Ibadan where he took a degree in Medicine said that the alumni associations had a lot of roles to play in ensuring that their alma mater was a better place to seek knowledge.
He said: “A lot is going wrong nationally in our universities, they are not exactly where they are supposed to be, I think that at this critical point in time, it is really important for our alumni associations to begin to look inwards to find ways of supporting our universities to be what they ought to be.
I do know that in the past, a lot of people used to struggle to come to Nigeria universities, but now our children are going to find knowledge in other countries, I do not think that is in the right direction.”
The governor told members of the executive led by the National President, Dr. Kemi Emina that executive alumni associations should begin to look beyond providing infrastructure and delve into the administration and academic situation of universities to know truly if they were producing the right kind of students for the Nigeria.
Okowa noted that appropriate funding might be the bane of the universities, noting that even though the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) was doing a lot, there was a lot of room for improvement.
He added: “I also think that we need to have a stakeholders meeting as it concerns education advancement in this country so that we are able to find appropriate means of funding for the universities, though, a lot is been done through the TETFUND, it doesn’t appear to be enough.”
Okowa emphasized that the administration of the universities itself should be properly look at because charlatans were part of academics and administration of universities.
Okowa lauded the scholarship scheme for indigent students as introduced by the UIAA, saying that it would ensure that intelligent students were not deprived of education because of their background.
Emina said that the association was created to add value to its alma mater and was constructing a lecture theatre, awarding scholarship to indigent students and actively involved in the activities of the university for it to uphold the ideals of its founding fathers.
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