24th August, 2011
Â Dr. Joseph Ola. Awoyinfa, lecturer, educational consultant and researcher at the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), in this interview with Campus Square speaks on the nationâ€™s education system.
What is your assessment of education in Nigeria at the moment?
I will say thatÂ we should giveÂ many thanks to the Minister of Education, Prof. Rukayat Rufai, who is trying all her efforts to see that we get it right, at least for once, in the educational sector. Take a look at her sporadic moves on prompt release of JAMB and WAEC/GCE results as well as bringing sanitation into the university system across the nation in the areas of funding, qualification of lecturers and the MDG programmes on education.
What do you think we are still lacking?
Much is still expected of her in the following areas: provision of modernÂ Â education facilities and equipmentÂ from primary up to the universityÂ level, better working conditionÂ and remuneration for all teachers and university lecturers, eradication of brain drain in the country by providing an enabling condition of service thatÂ will give room for qualitative researchÂ and good discoveriesÂ that will enable us solve most of the scientific problems steering usÂ in the face in Nigeria.
What should be the priority of the re-appointed Education minister?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
The priority of the re-appointedÂ minister nowÂ should beÂ able to build a solid foundation that will stand the test of time in Nigeria on education for all, irrespective of status and cultural background of all Nigerians.Â I am sure that should be one of the reasons for her re-appointment by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Do you think the decision of Lagos State Government to scrap LASU part time school is the best?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Well, those who are advocating for this move must have their genuine reasons for it, but my take on it is that whatever reasons that may been advancedÂ for its scraping should be in the interest of both the good image of the institution and that of the students, knowing very well that Lagos State is the centre of excellence in Nigeria and our dear governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), will never settle for anything less. Above all, I personally see it as a welcome and healthy development because the product of such programme is better imagined compared with the regular studentsÂ in terms of quality and acceptability in the society.
What do you think government should have done to standardise education in the state?
Above all, the Federal Government should be more pro-active on its good plan to ensure education for all by the year 2020, because no nation can develop beyond the educational level of her citizens. Education is power, wisdom, lifeÂ and it is also light, therefore, to solve all the Boko Haram andÂ all these unnecessary militancy problems in the country today, we must give our children qualitative education if our tomorrow must know peace, progress and prosperity.