THE Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Alumni Association has urged Yoruba traditional and political leaders to come up with measures that will help improve the falling standard of education within the region.
The national president of the association, Mr Stephen Makinde, made the appeal in Lagos on Tuesday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that the appeal became necessary because the Yoruba race had over the years been associated with maintaining a high standard of education.
According to him, education is the core area of competence of the Yoruba race which has always given them recognition in the country.
He stated that the Yoruba forefathers such as the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo played vital roles in upholding the standard of education within the Yoruba race.
He, however, said that the momentum and zeal began to dwindle some years back.
“We, the Yoruba race, need to have a rethink because our core area of competence that gives us the edge has always been education, but that standard is being eroded,” he said.
He said that in past years, it was a kind of competition among parents who used to encourage their children to become professionals in various field, but that in recent times, the interest in education had been fading out.
“I urge our traditional and political leaders to begin to re-strategise on how this legacy can be revived and sustained,” he said.
He warned that if they should lose that legacy, the labour of the past heroes would have gone to waste.
“Nowadays, we do not take education serious like before; this must be worked upon in earnest.
“Awolowo built a formidable educational standard for us. Unfortunately, we are destroying the legacy,” he said.
Makinde also advised Yoruba traditional rulers to sensitise their people on the need to embrace every aspect of the Yoruba culture.
He described the culture as a means of identity for everyone which should be guarded jealously and practised by all Yoruba people.
“We must try to build on what we received from our forefathers in the areas of discipline, culture of respect, upholding our indigenous languages and moral behaviour for the good of all.
“These are our binding force as a race; we must wake up and protect our common identities as a race.
“We must encourage our children and wards to speak our local dialects. Parents must speak their indigenous languages to their children for the sake of posterity,” he said.