By Bianca Iboma-Emefu
The vice-chancellor of MountainTop University (MTU), Prayer City, Makogi Oba, Ogun State, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, has identified poor funding of education as the major plague that has contributed to insecurity, upheavals and unrest prevalent in the country.
Ayolabi said this at the matriculation of the university for the 2020/2021 academic session for undergraduate and postgraduate students, which involved 510, students, comprising 12 postgraduates and 498 undergraduate students.
The VC said education was fundamental to development and growth of any nation, thus the Nigerian government needs to invest in public institutions the same way the private institutions have invested huge amounts to ensure qualitative education in the nation.
“Government has a policy of free education, so they should fund it the same way private institutions’ chancellors have been funding with huge resources and equipping the facilities. As a nation,we need to focus more on capacity-building to surmount some of the country’s challenges. No nation could ever arrive at a future that it cannot see and prepare for if appropriate investments in quality education are not put in place.
“The human mind makes possible all development achievements, from health advances and agricultural innovations to efficient public administration and private sector growth. For countries to reap these benefits fully, they need to unleash the potential of the human mind. And there is no better tool for doing so than education.’’
He cited the digital divide challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, where public institutions lost academic session, adding that because MTU had a digital space academic activities continued, virtually, until the ease of lockdown and physical presence were approved by the government with COVID-19 compliance.
Said he: “Having digital presence in our curriculum made things easier, as we just adjusted to the era and made provision for their data. In fact, the chancellor of MTU, Dr Daniel Olukoya, provided data for the virtual learning and the process was smooth as we had a record of 95 per cent success under the improved virtual learning presence.
“It takes money to make this academic environment conducive for learning. Government should improve education standard. It will aid growth and development.”
Speaking further, he re-affirmed the institution’s commitment to empowering students through qualitative education to solve the nation’s challenges, especially impacting each of them with entrepreneurial skills, apart from giving them qualitative education.
“We are raising a new generation of leaders through a broad-based qualitative education built on sound biblical principles, culminating in the birth of pathfinders, pacesetters and trailblazers,” he said.
In his remarks, the vice-chancellor of Landmark University, Omu Aran, Kwara State, Prof. Adeniyi Olayanju, said, after the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, the two institution entered a memorandum of understanding to collaborate to achieve the 17 SDGs.
Olayanju further explained that the collaboration was meant to address children and youth being denied opportunities to qualitative education and given fair chance to get a decent job in order to escape poverty and support their families as well as develop their communities.
Registrar of MTU, Olufemi Oyewole, charged the students to raise their game so as to be the best in their studies, stressing that the university would only celebrate success and not failure.