Posted by By Ola Ajayi on
PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has said that come 2007, he would enrol as a student at the National Open University of Nigeria to lay a good example that education can be obtained at any age.
IBADAN — PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo has said that come 2007, he would enrol as a student at the National Open University of Nigeria to lay a good example that education can be obtained at any age.
While speaking as a visitor at the 58th Foundation Day ceremony of the University of Ibadan, he stated his belief that open university would provide access for many Nigerians who could not be admitted into the mainstream of university education. It is expected that by March 2007, the open university would have a capacity to admit more than 100,000 students amongst whom will be my humble self as an example to others that no matter your position or how busy you may claim to be, you can spare time to learn.
He hinged the nagging problems confronting most Nigerian universities on over reliance of universities on government funding rather than source for funds from private sector to enhance their performance.
On the President of Mac Arthur Foundation, Mr. Jonathan Fanton who had donated $7m to the institution as his own contribution to improve standard of education, Obasanjo said “he believes in Nigeria. Not only does he believe in Nigeria, he defends Nigeria whereever he goes. Anybody that says unpleasant thing about Nigeria, he takes up his pen and says it is not right."
In his own address, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Mr. Gamaliel Onosode said that the purpose of teaching and scholarship at any level must be the stimulation of intellectual curiosity, the development of critical judgement, social consciousness and rigorous indoctrination, not in any perjorative sense, in the correct use of language and acceptable behaviour.
He however regretted that the utilitarian value of education had since overtaken these vital signs of the collective well being of our people. Our universities too had been coerced into raising vocational education to the level of academic standards for the convenience of attaching academic appelation to it.
Onosode further noted that despite these decadent tendencies, less attention is unwittingly being paid to cahracter building and reinforcement which he added constitutes a real challenge. “our university must therefore continue to enhance intellectual acuity and broaden the application of knowledge while insisting on time-honoured tradition awarding degrees to citizens who have been found truly worthy, first in character, and then in learning, for the socio-economic and political deveolpment of our dear nation”.
He commended the administration of the university for its untiring effort at meeting the challenges of managing this community of scholars. It is not an easy task to manage articualte people who are prepared, ready and willing at all times to challenge every decision, no matter how innocuos or beneficial.
Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Olufemi Bamiro expressed his happiness over the recent transformation in the school saying things are begining to take a good shape having taken into cognisance reduction in cases of strike actions and cultic activities. He also gave kudos to the federal government for the improved funding of university education system saying the institution has felt the impact of the FG in the last seven years
Chancellor of the university, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero said university education in the country needed urgent action most especially when compared with others in Europe and America. Owing to this wide margin, he said the country must take giant strides to keep abreast with the rest of the world. He prayed that the Almighty Allah would grant the wisdom to steer the ship of our nation to the promise land.
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