Poor Qualities of Teachers, Impediment to Functional Education, Says Babalola

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

A Legal Icon and Founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has advised the university managements and governing councils to place high premium on application of modern teaching skills through capacity building for teachers for Nigeria to attain a deserved quality and functional education.

Babalola posited that the quality of teaching in the country has nosedived across all cadres of education, describing this as the most debilitating factor adversely affecting standard of education, just as decayed and obsolete facilities that were agitating the minds of school administrators.

The university proprietor stated this yesterday during the 2022 ABUAD Staff Capacity Development Programme that was held in the institution that specially focused on “Modern Teaching Method and Pedagogy.”

Babalola regretted that the quality of teachers in the pre-independence Nigeria were far more rewarding than what were obtainable in the country currently.

The legal luminary urged stakeholders to design policies that would compel application of deserved teaching methodologies in schools to improve the qualities of graduates being churned out at every stratum of education.

He said: “The most essential factor for achievement of quality and functional education aside modern facilities is modern teaching. Many of my generation will attest to the quality of teachers available in the years preceding independence in Nigeria.

“Teachers in those days were not only knowledgeable in the subjects they thought, they also deployed the best teaching methodology to ensure that knowledge was effectively transferred. Regrettably, things are not what they used to be.

“I know that in states with qualified teachers, the story may not be entirely different. It is one thing to provide facilities while it is entirely different thing for teachers to employ the best teaching practice and methodology in making use of those facilities.

“It is not enough for teachers to possess excellent qualifications in courses or subjects without commensurate ability to impart onto others. This is why teaching is a skill that must be learned, cultivated and nurtured.”

Delivering his keynote address at the event, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, posited that qualities of teachers have great effect on the attainment of quality and functional education.

Okebukola, who spoke on the topic: “ABUAD: Leading all the Way,” praised the university for working in tandem with the NUC’s recommendations,.

He pointed out that the institution has been aligning with the minimum curriculum standard that will be released by the federal government soon.

Okebukola urged the ABUAD’s lecturers to always be circumspect of the major concepts of “how we learn, teaching and learning strategies and practical applications,” to make the university largely a result-oriented institution.

The Vice Chancellor of ABUAD, Professor Smaranda Olarinde, said that lecturers as teachers of the future leaders must be professional and practical-oriented to make the graduates relevant under the current economic system.

Olarinde said that ABUAD’s ranking as number one in Nigeria, and one of the best 400 in the world, must be enhanced further by sharpening the mental capacities of lecturers to be able to discharge their duties, by being innovative, skillful and  ICT-compliant.

Also speaking, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Professor Damilola Olawuyi (SAN), revealed that the university had, in 2019, designed a roadmap for the exposure of all academic staff to new technological innovation in vogue in the teaching profession in order to boost learning and research.

Olawuyi said that the concept of e-learning has become a global phenomenon that no university could underestimate, saying this accounted for the expediency of this capacity training to buoy ABUAD’s rating in teaching methodology.

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