The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said the craze for the acquisition of higher degrees in the country had not impacted enough on national growth and transformation.
The chairman of the University of Lagos chapter of the union, Dr Dele Ashiru, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
According to him, the craze for higher degrees such as Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and others has not had any significant impact on the needs of the society.
He said rather than go after higher degrees; Nigerians should venture into technical and vocational studies for skills acquisition that would directly impact lives.
“Yes, it is desirable for the system to produce holders of higher degrees, especially PhDs, but PhDs for what?
“I think we should refocus and restructure our education system so that it will be more relevant to our society rather than award higher degrees.
“Come to think of it, all the people that have acquired PhDs in Nigeria, let us carry out a forensic audit of what they are giving back to the society.
“Most people are running after the acquisition of these degrees for selfish motives. They feel for instance, that it is a requisite for their progression in life or a ticket for fulfilled life,” he said.
He added that, regrettably, such development was only peculiar to a country like Nigeria.
Ashiru noted that the way out was to pump enough funds into the vocational and technical education as well as meaningful research for socio-economic and political development.
He said successful Nigerians who had acquired wealth legitimately or otherwise should pump part of such money into the education system.
“Government should also plough back all retrieved monies acquired by individuals through illegal means to the education sector.
“It it time for us to re-engineer, refocus and restructure the system.
“We must start our quest for accelerated national transformation with our education system, because no society can rise beyond the level of its education system,” the unionist said.
According to him, development is a concerted effort and only the people can develop themselves.