Ex-VC, Babalola Advocate Improved Teaching Methodologies in Tertiary Institutions

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Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

As part of the ways to ensure qualitative education at the university cadre in the country, a former vice-chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Prof. Michael Faborode, and the
founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), have advocated improved teaching methodologies in higher institutions.

The duo said there was need for Nigerian universities to always train and retrain their academic staff in modern techniques of teaching to ensure participation in classes and improve learning in the country’s citadels of learning.

Specifically, Babalola said it was a great mistake for the country to have abolished teacher training colleges, describing the avenue as the first port where professional teachers are exposed to teaching techniques.

Speaking at a workshop on teaching and learning methodology in higher institutions held in ABUAD on Monday,
Faborode commended ABUAD for being a pacesetter in the efforts to revive the country’s citadels of learning, by exposing lecturers to basic techniques in teaching to improve quality of education.

“As a former vice-chancellor, my opinion on universities is not based on proposition, but on facts. With this workshop, ABUAD has once again
showed that it was at the forefront of university education in Nigeria.

“Though, there were a lot of freedom in the universities, but teaching is universal. It has the same format that needed to be respected, failing which the students will derive no values in what the teachers
are teaching and this is not good for the system,” he said.

Speaking copiously on the need for the country to re-establish teacher training colleges, Babalola said the country must carry out a lot of radical reforms at the tertiary level for the country’s certificates
not to be worthless at the international scene.

He said it was wrong for those without teaching certificates to be allowed to veer into the profession unchallenged, saying this accounted for the well permeated decadence in the education sector.

“Teaching is not just for anybody, it is for those who were trained in teaching methodology to be able to deliver optimally for better output from students, but unfortunately, this is not so in Nigeria. Those without certificates in education also teach.

“No matter how good, brilliant one may be, he needs to be trained and retrained to be a good teacher. My experience as a pupil teacher 71 years ago and later vice-principal made me to carry out a lot of
reforms as a pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council of University of
Lagos.

“Under my watch, I made UNILAG to be ranked first in Nigeria. Again, I was nominated as the best pro-chancellor twice. So, when I established ABUAD, the mandate is to leave a legacy of excellence that will bring about qualitative education in Nigeria.

“For a teacher to be considered a good one, he must master his subject, take interest in the students and make himself accessible to students, that remains the best way for him to impact positively on the students. He must be confident without being overbearing. He must also be resourceful, so that he can have up to date knowledge about his
area of specialisation.”

Beside Prof. Faborode, those billed to deliver lectures at the workshop are: Prof. B.O. Popoola from OAU; the OAU Librarian, Mrs B.O. Asubiojo; Prof. Bisi Onasanya; Vice-Chancellor, Ekiti State
University, Prof. Samuel Oye Bandele; Prof. Henry Owolabi; Mr. B. Ogundipe; and Mr. O. Adekoya.