By Toba Suleiman in Ado-Ekiti
Former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has charged the Federal Government on the need to tackle all the problems confronting education sector in the country in order to halt the current debasement of Nigerian certificates abroad, especially universities certificates.
Fielding questions from journalists at the weekend, shortly after he was conferred with the fellowship award by the authorities of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti during its 21st convocation ceremony, Olanpekun noted that this became necessary if the country would regain her lost glory in the sector.
According to him, there was the need for revolution in the education sector to engender national rebirth and restore the lost patriotism among Nigerians.
He pointed out that it is becoming increasingly more ‘scaring and scandalous’ by the day, the rate at which education is being relegated in the country through poor funding and misguided attitudes of Nigerian citizens.
Olanipekun, who is also the chairman of the Governing Council, University of Ibadan, education remains the only weapon that could ignite national rebirth and instil patriotism among Nigerians, saying the country risks eternal doom if these two are lacking.
“The kind of revolution I am calling for is not a bloodbath or declaration of war, but the one that can fix our educational system and rescue our country from doom. No country thrives in ignorance. So, if we don’t fix education, education would fix us,” he said.
While lamenting the colossal damage the poor standard of education has caused the country, he said, “decline in education is fast becoming our national heritage and had assumed a scaring and more scandalous dimension due to laxity on the part of Nigerian citizens, including leaders and followers.”
“Our problems are becoming hydra-headed because Nigerians are no longer patriotic, which could be traced to poor education. Infrastructures are no longer there in our schools from primary to tertiary levels, teachers are no longer ready to impact knowledge because the incentives are not there while our students are not prepared to learn.
“Without sound education, Nigeria cannot move forward. Education brings patriotism, which remains the best instrument to develop any country,” Olanipekun said.
Olanipekun pointed that out Nigerian graduates could compete favourably with their counterparts trained in any University across the globe, saying the reverse is the case now.
“When people like us attended higher and tertiary schools in Nigeria, we never felt inferior to our colleagues who had their trainings abroad. Is either we were at per or more advantaged than them, so this is the culture we pray that our governments should restore,” he maintained.