Olanipekun Bemoans Dwindling Fortune of Education System In Nigeria

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By ABEL JOHNGOLD ORHERUATA

Foremost Nigeria constitutional lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR, SAN, has noted that Nigeria’s education system was crumbling with tertiary institutions failing below standard as glorious citadels of higher learning being eclipsed in the eyes of alumni.

Olanipekun stated this in his lecture, titled ” Building Blocks for Unbundling the Critical Problems Plaguing Education In Nigeria: A clarion call to Alumni Associations To Rebuild The Collapsing Portals Through Which They Passed”, he delivered at the 2022 University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) National Public Service Lecture, held at the Dame Edith Okowa Auditorium, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

He referenced a Nigeria reputable journalist, Dan Agbese, where he bemoaned that “the current ASUU strike was as good a time as any, for the nation to pause, even if briefly, from the madness of politics and the politicians and spare some serious thoughts what it wants to make of its education.”

While calling on alumni associations to, as a matter of urgency, rescue their alma maters, the legal luminary and Principal of Wole Olanipekun & Co, who noted that Nigeria’s universities and tertiary institutions were failing and falling, said the problems were not overemphasised; rather, that they were under emphasised, adding that and Government would not believe or agree that “we have sunk this low.”

Olanipekun, who noted that Nigeria had an educational emergency, said “to address and tackle that emergency, the alumni associations must come to the rescue and find their feet.

“The time to act is now, and not later than now. Even in developed countries where their governments appreciate the value and cardinal position of education, and humongous funds are committed to Education, alumni associations still play substantial roles, and make beneficial impacts of sustaining the portals through which they passed.

They do this in different and diverse ways,” he said.

In charting the way forward, Olanipekun opined that with the appalling state of events in the country, “considering Nigeria from all fundamental angles, and juxtaposing same with recent happenings and events, taking cognisance of the fact that ours is a monolithic economy, depending solely and wholly on oil, reminding ourselves of the threatening security situation that Nigeria has been plunged into, as well as other vagaries of the present, realistically juxtaposed with the future, alumni associations in Nigeria will be living in self-delusion, if they still expect much from any Government vis-a-vis their old schools and portals.

“Governments at all levels in this country today appear not to be able to help themselves, how much more remembering or thinking of educational institutions, whether at primary, secondary or tertiary levels. It then behoves each alumni association to wake up and rise to the daunting reality facing their old schools.”

Earlier in her address, Prof. Elsie Olufunke Adewoye, President of UIAA Worldwide, disclosed that the lecture was specially introduced by the Executive Council of the Alumni Association to give opportunity to very worthy Nigerians, who though not alumni of University of Ibadan but have done so well that their voice, their contributions to the growth of the society could not be ignored.

She said that the association chose to allow them use a credible platform like that of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, among other equally platforms, to speak to the world, to promote and stimulate dialogues and complement its yearly alumni lecture series which began over four decades ago.

“And so, it is apparently to bring to the fore the important role alumni and alumni associations can play in turning for the better the fortunes of their alma mater,” she said.