(NAN)A don, Prof S.G. Odewumi, has urged Federal and State governments to stop universities from awarding diplomas and running pre-degree programmes.
Odewumi, Dean, School of Transport, Lagos State University, said the Universities were usurping the mandate of polytechnics and colleges of education by doing so.
He made the call at the joint convocation lecture of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikan.
He explained the usurpation of the mandate of colleges of education and polytechnics by universities was responsible for the recent clamour for upgrading of the former into universities, saying that the existing educational structure should not be distorted.
“The strange reality is that colleges of education and polytechnics are designed to award certificates and diplomas respectively, but now are desiring to and indeed are awarding degrees.
“The universities that are designed to award degrees, desire and are indeed awarding certificates and diplomas, including A level and O level GCE.
“Since everybody desires to be in the university and it does not matter what you are reading, students will go to the university and pay through their noses, as the universities are just using them to increase their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” he said.
According to him, the resultant effect was that the colleges of education are getting empty, while the universities are bursting in the seams with excess load in their quest for enhanced IGR.
Odewumi said most universities in the country were overstretching their facilities and capacities, adding that many of the affected universities were devising ingenious ways to beat the National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation teams.
“If there is any gap that needed to be filled, there should be arrangement for direct feed from such programmes from the polytechnics and colleges of education for admission.
“The personnel temperament is better suited for the training at this level, than a Professor of Biochemistry teaching O level chemistry, and what you would see, is a self-conceited lecturer haranguing hapless children with grandiloquent English,” he said.
The don, however, urged the Lagos State Government to ensure upgrading of AOCOED into a degree awarding institution in keeping with its earlier pledge.
He noted that the college has achieved a rich pedigree and paid its dues and should be allowed to metamorphose.
According to him, the justification for the demand was that the college was endowed with the very best human capital, had passed accreditation and emerged first in Webbaometric ranking among other colleges of education.
Odewumi also stated that AOCOED could easily be accommodated as a university in a Metropolitan state as Lagos with a population of over 20million.
The don said this would help to accommodate the teeming youths who were denied admission in its only state owned university.
Earlier at the convocation press briefing, Dr O. A. Ladele, the College Provost, said the institution would graduate 5,674 students, drawn from five schools across its full-time NCE, School of Part-time Studies and Centre for Outreach Programme for the three sets.
Ladele said the college would award some eminent persons, including, Pa Lateef Jakande, the first civilian governor of Lagos State.
She, however, urged companies and individual to support the government in funding the institution substantially in order to achieve its mandate.
“I take this opportunity to thank the consortium of Credo Insurance Broker Ltd, Industrial and General Insurance PLC, LASACO Assurance PLC and Cristal Hope Brokers for embarking on the construction of a 250-seated lecture theatre for the college,” she said.