A professor of linguistics, University of Ibadan, Francis Egbokhare, says that Nigeria’s tertiary education is still operated in accordance with the colonial model, a model he described as outdated.
Egbokhare said it is baffling that the nation’s universities still replicate the colonial education system of the 1940s, in terms of its physical and academic planning.
He bemoaned that the nation is mimicking an American-style competitive educational system where tertiary education is too resource-intensive.
He called for a restructuring of the model of tertiary education such that the cost of production of educational goods and services is significantly reduced, and where tertiary institutions are converging to use resources in an efficient manner.
Egbokhare, who made this call during an event to mark the 10th anniversary of Erudite Millennium Limited, held at the University of Ibadan, themed: ‘The Future of Education,’ said there is the need to leverage technology to more efficiently deploy human resources.
Egbokhare said: “It is still the same colonial system in 1948 that we are replicating. If you look at the physical planning approach and the academic planning approach that we are still adopting, it is still basically the colonial system that was established when the University of Ibadan was established.
“We are replicating the same old system; it is outdated; it is based on legacy thinking; it is outmodeled and outdate and we have to be more flexible and adapted to the Nigerian realities.
“The model of tertiary education is too resource-intensive. We need to restructure it in such a way that the cost of production of educational goods and services can be significantly reduced.”
Also speaking, a professor of curriculum development and former dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan,. Clement Kolawole, argued that the current curriculum in use in Nigeria does not meet the needs of the country and the 21st century learner because it is not homegrown.
According to him, a home grown curriculum will be one where all stakeholders are involved in its formulation.
A former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Hajia Amina Zakari ,called for a complete overhaul of the educational system in Nigeria.
She added that the current state of the educational sector in the country is not encouraging and called for a complete overhaul if the desired objectives will be achieved.
Delivering the keynote address on the occasion, Mr Luqman Molumo decried the lack of technological drive in Nigeria’s educational sector.
Molumo, who is board chairman, Global Heritage Academy, argued that the current education system does not afford a learner in Nigeria the requisite knowledge and skills to compete favourably with their peers from other climes.
He praised Erudite Millenium Ltd for driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution Programme as part of its Gap year training noting that the company’s integration of technological skills into the Gap year curriculum is an indication of the recommended future of Education in Nigeria.
There were interventions from representatives of relevant agencies such as Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), National Examination Council (NECO), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and Nigeria Police Force Education Unit as well as organisations like the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) and Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS).
Apart from the need for new curriculum across various levels of education, speakers at the event also noted the importance of students being equipped with skills such as python programming, UI/UX, robotics, drone technology.