UNIVERSITY of Lagos pro-chancellor Dr Wale Babalakin has warned that Nigeria is churning out unemployable graduates as the country’s best university is only ranked 800 in the world.
Speaking during the seventh convocation lecture of the Kwara State University (Kwasu) over the weekend, Dr Babalakin said Nigeria must restructure its university and secondary school education system. He also called on both state and federal governments to provide adequate funding into secondary and university education system, adding that quality products from the secondary school system would ensure good and quality university graduates.
He decried present situation in Nigerian secondary schools where there was an overpopulation of students in classes without adequate facilities to ensure quality learning. Dr Babalakin who is also the chairman of the Bi-Courtney Group of companies advised that the nation could promote free education if affordable but said that quality should not be sacrificed for quantity.
In his address, Dr Babalakin charged the Kwara State government to use Kwasu as a pilot scheme to restructure the education system in Nigeria by providing adequate funding. He added that a situation where grants were not provided to the university over the last five years did not augur well for a quality education system.
Furthermore, Dr Babalakin also lamented the present situation whereby expatriates are being employed instead of Nigerian graduates. He added that global organisations like Cadbury were no longer managed by Nigerians unlike in the past due to the perceived low quality of graduates.
Dr Babalakin said: “There’s hope but we have to start afresh. We must have an educational system that’s globally competitive, it’s not sufficient to fund a university, it should be properly funded.
“The world is not waiting for us, the world will start to respect us if we make our universities world class. Even when we say there’s no money, I believe that with ingenious application, the money will become available.”
Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, the Kwasu vice chancellor, said that major challenge of the school is funding. He added that for five years now, the university has not received subvention from government towards salaries, overheads or anything else.