21st July, 2011
Former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia and founder, African Refugee Foundation, AREF, Segun Olusola has called for the review of the educational system in the country to arrest the decay in the sector.
Olusola spoke at the 13th valedictory service and prize-giving day of Good Shepherd Schools, Meiran, Lagos on Wednesday.
According to him, there is need to overhaul the system as things have gone bad, adding that recognizing the fact that things had gone wrong with the educational system would surely lead to a solution in curbing the decay.
â€œThe fact is that you have to recognize that there is decay in the system. We have to say this in public, so that the education authorities can read about it, hear about it and know there is decay.
â€œOnce they know, I have no doubt in my mind that the authorities in education at the state and federal levels will be persuaded to set up a review, upgrade the system in such a way that the decay you refer to can be ameliorated,â€ he stated.
On whether plans to change the 6-3-3-4 education system would help to address the decay in the educational system, Olusola said consultation was going on, â€œbut my view is that our professional teachers in both private and public schools ought to be taken into consideration for this far reaching changes to be introduced into the system.
â€œI think today, the contributions of teachers in private schools have been good; their views ought to be taken into consideration. Once that is done, I have no doubt that they will be properly guided.â€
Speaking at the occasion, the Head, Department of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Rufus Akinyele, who delivered a paper titled: ‘Nigeria: The Nation, the Youths and the Future,’ lamented that governments at all levels had failed to improve the lot of youths.
â€œAs in the past, the youths constituted the â€˜destructive elementsâ€™ in the post election violence of March this year and in the ongoing Boko Haram crisis in the north. The degree of threats to lives has necessitated the call for the cancellation of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.
â€œIncidentally, it is into this youth sector the graduating students of todayâ€™s ceremony are being released. Does it mean then that the future is bleak? What strategies should they adopt to complement government efforts to improve their own situation?
â€œLet me quickly observe that the magnitude of the challenges in the youth sector has also created a good opportunity for this government to carve its name in gold and for individuals with clear vision to excel,â€ he said.
On the way forward, he called on the Federal Government to review the national youth policy, create youth development centres, provide massive employment for youths and adhere to the national youth development index.
The university don charged the graduating students to embrace the opportunity at their disposal, persevere as well as embrace self-discipline, saying that â€œtime waits for no one. Aim for the sky, navigate the way with your compass, deploy your energy and talents and the world will celebrate you.â€
The proprietor of the school, Dr. Bayo Oyeyemi said what was needed in the nation now was educational revolution and how to get the devastating problem in the educational sector solved.
â€œWe know there is decay in the educational sector but in Good Shepherd, we donâ€™t condone examination malpractice; we stand for qualitative education without corruption. We stand for discipline in this school,â€ he said.