Ondo State governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), on Saturday charged the nation’s tertiary institutions to brace up to the challenges of real development.
He said there appeared to be increasing disconnect between the curricula adopted for the training of the citizenry and the current realities.
Akeredolu, who spoke during the 15th convocation ceremonies of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, noted that the country was confronted with the inexplicable situation, leading to millions of the nation’s youths being unemployed.
The Governor said: “The tragic reality borders on the level and quality of training received by these wonderful creatures who excel so easily whenever they find themselves in an environment which encourages intellection.”
He maintained that while it is important for government at all levels to concentrate on the education of the citizenry, there is also the need for the academics to descend from the ivory tower to interact with the society with a view to come to terms with realities.
According to him, “The character of the curricula of education must be such that addresses basic challenges of existence in any given environment.
“Acquisition of knowledge must be seen as integral part of the quest for the development of a society. The process is too important to be reduced to a carnival-like fiesta, which is mere evidence of participation in the certification rites, culminating in the award of degrees and diplomas of varying degrees. An educated person should be able to solve specific problems.”
Akeredolu, who was conferred with a honourary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the management of Igbinedion University, said it was high time the nation stopped undue romanticisation of the role of government in funding education.
He said: “It is correct to hold that any society owes its citizens a bounding duty in ensuring that their welfare shall be the sole reason for governance.
“If we all agree that there can be no substitute for good education if a society is truly desirous of joining the rest of the civilized world, then it is patently unrealistic to expect a benevolent phantom called government to provide everything, while procreation remains the only active index of participation of a large percentage of the populace.
“It is unsustainable in the present circumstances. It queries our sense of propriety and priority. It depicts us pleasure-lovers whose hedonistic tastes rest firmly on the thinking and waking moments of others.”
He, however, added: “Before I expose myself to the likely charge of overweening pride and arrogance in the presence of this eminent gathering, I state, without equivocation, that these are some of my thoughts on the challenges we face as a people.”