• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

‘Nigeria’s education system needs fundamental overhaul’

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Ukachukwu Awuzie, the vice chan¬cellor of Imo State Uni¬versity, Owerri, said on Wednesday that the na¬tion’s education system needed a fundamental overhaul.

Awuzie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri that there was something fundamentally wrong with the academic system in the country which successive govern¬ments had failed to tackle.

He said that members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were not strike mongers but had engaged on inces¬sant strikes for the effec¬tive and efficient develop¬ment of the universities.

Awuzie said that past governments had failed to yield to the constant demand by ASUU to put the universities in proper shape through proper funding to avoid turning out half-baked graduates.

He identified lack of proper research centres as another bane of the na¬tion’s universities, adding that the plan to establish research centres in the six geo-political zones was thwarted.

“Nigeria can solve its problems by itself. No lec¬turer took up teaching job to go on strike but always want the best for the stu¬dents.

“Our laboratories are nothing to write home about. We lack efficient research centres.

“Some universities lack adequate infrastructure. If we can develop our uni¬versities here, we will be the best in Africa.

“Across the globe, vari¬ous universities have en¬gaged in research in such a manner that they provide the requisite materials for the effective workings of industries,” he said.

Awuzie commended Governor Rochas Okoro¬cha for taking the issue of education seriously by offering scholarship to Imo students in state-owned tertiary institutions.

On his achievement so far in the university, he said that the need to upgrade, refurbish and revamp the ailing infra¬structure stock on its cam¬puses at Lake Nwaebere (Owerri) and Orlu pro-pelled his administration into the development of infrastructure.

Awuzie identified the infrastructure to include a 700-seat terraced lec¬ture theatre, a three-floor seminar complex for the college of medicine and a two-floor laboratory com¬plex for haematology and pharmacology at the Orlu campus.

Others are a N200 million information and communication technol¬ogy centre, a N350 million model science laboratory complex attracted by the council and management from the Tertiary Educa¬tion Trust Fund (TETFund).

The vice-chancellor explained that his admin¬istration also secured the release of N350 million from the governor for the completion of the lecture auditorium and hostel complex for the school of nursing in Orlu.

He regretted that most of the courses offered in the university had failed to meet the criteria for full accreditation by the relevant bodies.

He said his administra¬tion spent a greater part of last year auditing such courses and document¬ing the requirements for which the accreditation could be accorded.

Awuzie noted that the university had devel¬oped and implemented a vibrant ICT policy to improve the compliance levels of staff and students.

He said the school now operated an ICT centre and was WIFI-enabled which would help students’ to browse in any part of the university.

He said the WIFI ap¬plication would help to improve the quality of learning, teaching and re¬search, while a computer-enhanced examination would help eliminate mal¬practice.