Babalakin Calls for Revamping of Education Sector

Wale Babalakin

Funmi Ogundare

President of Government College Ibadan (GCI) Old Boys Association (GCIOBA), Dr. Wale Babalakin, has stressed the need for the country to begin to engage stakeholders in the rebuilding of the education sector.

Babalakin, who made this call yesterday while briefing journalists on the 90th anniversary/2019 reunion of the college, said people need to agree to the fact that good education is fundamental, adding that engaging people with ideas on what a proper school should look like is key.

According to him, “We need to agree that good education is fundamental and it’s not rocket science. We had it till a certain period. So let’s engage those people who have good idea of what a proper school should be. They should participate in the rebuilding of current schools. Schools are not classrooms, but are institutions with traditions, cultures and a mode of doing things. Classrooms are not schools because they don’t create characters.”

He opined that if government must throw its weight on education, then it has to be good quality education which is the bedrock of civilisation.

“Those who want education for everybody are doing the right thing, but they should know the cost of it because the worst status is to get half education. It belittles the educated but, doesn’t have what it takes to be educated. He is a danger to himself and the society. All of us should see rebuilding the education sector as our challenge. It is a waste of time going on the blame game,” said Babalakin, who is also the Chairman, Governing Council, University of Lagos.

Emphasising on the 90th anniversary of the college with theme: ‘90 Years of Rendering Service to the Nation,’ he said the programme of event would kick-off with a drama presentation titled: ‘The Folly of Men,’ an adaptation of Prof. Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan and Bode Sowande’s plays which would hold at the Main Auditorium, University of Lagos.

He said there would be a presentation of awards to six literary icons including: Dr. Sunday Aribisala, Professors Ifedayo Oladapo, Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan, Akinkugbe, as well as Dr. Akinola Aguda.

Babalakin said there would also be an annual public lecture titled: ‘Resolving Nigeria’s Energy Challenges,’ which would hold on October 16 at Afe Babalola Hall at University of Lagos, with panel of discussants drawn from among the Old Boys of the college.

Other programmes, he said, include: an anniversary launch with GCI boys and staff, a repeat of Lagos drama presentation in Ibadan, community/welfare service, visit to orphanage homes, Jumat service, novelty match, Annual General Meeting and commissioning of projects.

The programme is expected to climax on October 19 with a sing-song, annual luncheon and merit awards ceremony and raffle draw.

He recalled his stay at the college, saying: “It was a school of traditions nurtured in the 50 years existence of the school. Discipline was a great quality. There was sufficient penalty for bad behaviour. I have found it difficult to explain to the younger generations how comprehensively grounded we were. We enjoyed facilities at the college, and in terms of academic, we were thorough-bred and distinguished ourselves in academics.

“In a particular set, of the 48 boys that graduated, 23 became professors and in the area of engineering GCI had contributed enormously. In sports, we had facilities and our cadet unit had an armoury full of guns and from 1929 to 79, not one gun went missing. It was such a comprehensive school that we are all so proud of.”