• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Nigeria’s education must become competitive—Moghalu

Kingsley Moghalu, president of the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation has asserted that Nigeria’s education system must be tailored to drive human capital development in order to be globally competitive.

Moghalu disclosed this at the fifth Arthur Mbanefo Lecture held at the University of Lagos, where he spoke on a topic; “Education and National Development: Meeting Nigeria’s Challenge in the 21st Century”.

“Nigeria is urgently in need of educational policy that can enhance its human capital, make it globally competitive, and bolster its standing within the global community.

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“This kind of education must prioritise access and quality by emphasising literacy, skills and national values. Our country has suffered a massive, progressive collapse of values over the past several decades,” he said.

He stressed that the need for the country to have a good understanding of the purpose of education.

“Purpose must be at the heart of education and education system.

“The social economic strength of a country is directly proportional to strength of its education,” he stressed.

The former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria explained that Nigeria suffered a massive, progressive collapse of values largely because the country have taken its eyes off the ball of education, which is the foundation upon which every society rises and falls.

“The education system of Nigeria must put skill development right at its centre. Education must go beyond rote memorisation of facts to helping learners acquire various forms of skills that make them form a formidable human capital for the nation,” he noted.

He reiterated that educated Nigerian citizens must be skilled enough to be able to create individual livelihoods, community wealth, and national value chains and thus effectively contribute to the economic transformation and global competitiveness of the nation, especially in light of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

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And to achieve this, Moghalu maintained that it is imperative for the country to integrate technology into the classroom to enhance teaching and learning experiences and to provide teachers with access to educational resources, interactive multimedia tools, and online platforms for collaborative learning.

“The classroom environment should encourage active participation, inquiry-based learning, and critical reflection while also fostering student engagement through cooperative learning structures, socratic questioning techniques, and experiential activities.

“By implementing these strategies, primary and secondary schools can experience pedagogical reform, improve teaching and learning outcomes, and create a conducive environment for student success and academic excellence,” he said.

He pointed out the entitlement mentality among many Nigerians with little or no sense of responsibility is a major reason why senators are paid about N13 million while vice-chancellors receive about N400,000 per month.

Folasade Ogunsola, the vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos in her opening remark at occasion which also served as a platform to celebrate Arthur Mbanefo, a former pro-chancellor of the university on his 94th birthday said the philanthropist has continued to demonstrate his love for the advancement of education through his support to the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research centre (AMDRC).

“The AMDRC Centre which commenced full operations in 2018 was to serve as a digital research Hub where students and relevant stakeholder could have access to digital resource learning to advance research and post-graduate studies.

This was ahead of its time as University of Lagos is one of the most digitised University. Similarly, the University of Lagos has been in the forefront of Artificial Intelligence and digital learning,” she said.

“We have over 23 research centres and 4 innovation and technology Hubs. Through our NITHub, we have successfully hosted International Conferences on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (ICAIR) with participants spread across 14 countries in Africa, Asia, UK, USA and Canada,” she added.

Arthur Mbanefo, the celebrant in his speech decried the salary disparity between vice-chancellors of universities and senators which he said depicts lack of reward values in country’s governance system.

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“Our priorities are totally misplaced, and until we realise that if we don’t address the misplaced values on education, people will continue to japa,” he said.

He said that it is regrettable that in many Nigerian public universities, the allocations for research are not up to 15 percent of the entire institutions’ gtotal budget.

Some of the dignitaries at lecture were Tolulope Adewale, managing director of NSIA Advanced Medical Services, and chairman of the occasion; Ernest Ebi, chairman of AMRDC; Bode Karunwi, member of AMRDC, Taiwo Ipaye, director of AMRDC; Ayodele Atsemuwo, deputy vice-chancellor development services at UNILAG, Yetunde Zaid, UNILAG’s Librarian; and Bolanle Shoga, board secretary, among others.

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