The poor performance of the economy, since 1982, has been identified as a major cause for the sharp decline in the nation’s standard of education.
Prof. (Mrs.) Bolanle Idowu Akeredolu-Ale of the University’s Department of Communication and General Studies, dropped this hint while delivering the second College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) Lecture Series titled, Acquiring Good Education For What? Opportunity Structure and Motivational Perspectives on the Declining Standard of Education in Nigeria.
The don lamented the nose-diving trend in the country’s standard of education, noting that the downward trend had been impacting negatively on the socio-economic and political fabrics of the nation.
Prof. Akeredolu-Ale, recalled that the depression that occurred in the 1980s negatively resulted in the drastic reduction in employment opportunities, both in the private and public sectors, leading to the “prevalence of corruption and the reduced emphasis on merit as a condition for assessing opportunities in higher education and for securing employment in the University system and the public service”, she stated.
The Lecturer opined that the downturn was responsible for the weakening of the hitherto “vibrant, virile aspirations and motivation by young Nigerians, craving to acquire good education”.
Prof. Akeredolu-Ale equally noted that good education had lost much of its potency and relevance “as a necessary condition for securing an adequate livelihood or social mobility, as most students now believe that what they need to ‘get on’ is a limited knowledge in their course of pursuit, not good/quality education as such”.
The University don however added that the fallen standard of education was not peculiar to Nigeria, pointing out that the world super powers, notably, the United States of America and Great Britain had fallen victims, according to findings by Dephie Raven (2006) and Liz Light Foot (2006).
To arrest the downward slide, Prof. Akeredolu-Ale stressed the need for all hands to be on deck, through genuine commitment to the development of the nation’s educational system.
Earlier, in his Welcome Address, the Dean of COLAMRUD, Prof. Segun Apantaku, said the Lecture Series, was designed to enable senior academic staff to share their wealth of experience in teaching and research with members of the University community and the society at large.
The Dean assured that the College will sustain the Lecture Series, as part of its contribution to the overall development of the University.
Prof. Apantaku disclosed that the College had submitted a proposal to the University Management, for the transformation of the Department of Communication and General Studies into an Institute.