Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, has advised degree-awarding institutions in the country to be more stringent with the process.
Fagbohun said, on Thursday, in Lagos, that the increasing rate of awarding First Class degrees by some private universities was alarming and questionable.
He spoke against the backdrop of public universities, which had the highest number of professors and teaching staff, but were not the ones producing the highest number of First Class students.
He noted that a report by the National University Commission (NUC) in 2017 had alluded to that.
“I will not conclude that the private institutions are turning out more graduates than expected.
“But a situation where you see universities that are struggling to attract students and lowering their cut-off marks, turning out more First Class graduates is worrisome.
“You see a class of 250 students having about 30 First Class graduates. That means we need to ask question and sociology of education has a role to play,’’ he said.
The vice chancellor said that it might be because the number of students were very small in the private institutions, there was enhanced teaching; improved students’ relationship and sufficient facilities.
He noted that it might also be an indication that in order to make these institutions attractive, standards were being lowered and compromised.
“That is why there is a need for us to put a scrutiny in this and those doing their Ph.Ds should venture into these areas, ask aggressive questions and get answers to them.
“An answer to the puzzle will enable us to understand the nexus of our developmental growth in terms of contribution between our public institutions and the graduates turned out.
“As long as we have an education system that turns out a mechanical engineer that cannot attend to his own car, then there is a problem.
“This is because whatever you are doing must be able to match with the activities you have yourself faced with in the real sense of life,’’ he said.
While one should not say that Nigerian graduates are actually bad, Fagbohun said there was a need to interrogate a lot of things in our education system.