By Temitope Mustapha, Abuja
November 9, 2012 – Academic intellectuals from across West Africa have raised concerns about the decay of education system in Africa.
At a two-day consultative policy dialogue in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, they are specifically reviewing the concept of world class institutions, international cooperation and global networking amongst African universities.
The policy dialogue is jointly organized by TrustAfrica and the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities with the aim of improving the higher education system in Africa.
The representative of Trust Africa and a consultant on higher education, Dr Omano Edigheji said under development, massive youth unemployment and bad governance have continued to escalate without appropriate domestic response, especially in Nigeria.
“Poverty has been on the increase in the lives of a huge number of Nigerians and the higher education system has failed in contributing to nation building,”he said.
Dr Edigheji noted that students in universities could not adequately convert knowledge acquired from higher institutions to buyable products for the society.
Our education system no longer builds citizens but builds religious and ethnic sentiments,”he lamented.
He also decried the lack of partnership among education stakeholders and the Nigerian government.
“Dialogue on improving higher education system should be encouraged either annually or biennially..Improving the state of education is not a government affair alone. Nigerian higher education system must return to its root in order to regain its glory,” Dr Edigheji stated.
A former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, the keynote speaker at the conference, Professor Clifford Tagoe listed high quality of faculty, abundant resources and favourable governance as elements that qualify a university for a world class standard.
“Tertiary education has a crucial role to play towards the achievement of any transformation, particularly in the development of the required human resources and in contributing to an efficient innovative system,”the Professor said.
Professor Tagoe said that governments at different levels were looking up to universities to provide the much needed highly skilled human resources to meet national needs.
TrustAfrica is a non-governmental organization focused on the development of tertiary education on the African continent.