Pai Obanya, an emeritus professor of the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, U.I., has identified de-corruption of the education development process in Nigeria as the only sure means through which the country can achieve it desired growth. He said this on Thursday, why delivering a lecture on the topic, Education, and Corruption, at the Gani Fawehinmi Annual Scholarship Awards ceremony held at the Nigerian Law Publications House, Ikeja, Lagos.
The professor noted that education, in the true sense of term, can be an antidote to corruption, “but education, as conceived and practiced in Nigeria, would need to be de-corrupted for it to serve the purpose of de-corrupting larger society. This would require a holistic clean-up that takes into consideration politics, policy, programmes, process, and products- the five pivotal points in the education development chains”, he said. Obanya further explained that when good politics yields good policy, the policy becomes fertile ground for good programmes, and according to him, good programmes stands the chance of determining good process, while good processes are most likely to bring about good products, who now become change agents in the society. The septuagenarian professor also expressed concern over people’s misconception of the term education. He said education is not literacy, ability to understand and use English language in a variety of life situations, neither is it technical competence or the possession and exhibition of knowledge in all its possible forms. He said the primary meaning and primary function of
Education is the inter-generational transmission of cultural heritage to younger generation. “Education in its holistic sense of the terms does have the strong elements of schooling, in modern societies. It, however, means a lot more that schooling and embraces all possible routes to learning, mainly; incidental education, informal education, on-formal education and formal education. “, he said. According to Obanya, the major concern of education is the unleashing and nurturing of human potentials for the all-round development of individuals for the ultimate goal of self-actualization and consequently enhancing every individual’s capacity to contribute meaningfully to society’s continuous developments”, he said. Buy the professor is more worried that corruption exerts devastating negative impacts on education, while the education sector itself is prone to corruption. He believes the task of tackling the menace would require society-education sector synergy, “should be a WE and not THEY undertaking. WE all should be involved, as we must get out of the ‘Wetin-man-go-do’ syndrome that sees THIS IS NAIJA mainly as an expression of despondency. “, he said.
Meanwhile, in his speech, Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi, president, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU and chairman of the event advocated for need to entrench free education in Nigeria as the available resources can fully support free, qualitative and compulsory education. “But our leaders would not allow this, The onus is on us to fight for what belongs to us. Gani Fawehinmi has been a great source of inspiration to us all. I commend the family and the organizers of this annual event.”, he said. The academia, activists, students and other guests at the event commended Chief Gani Fawehnimi, the late lawyer and rights activist for the initiative, which he started in 1974. Fawehinmi actually enshrined the scholarship which is meant for brilliant but indigent Nigerian students in his will while battling with cancer.
A total of 20 students drawn from different higher instructions in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria were awarded N100,000 each and they all expressed their gratitude to the late human rights lawyer, his family and members of the Scholarship Board
Oladipo Fashina, former senior lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and chairman, Gani Fawehinmi Scholarship Board, Muhammed Fawehimi, lawyer and activist and host of other speakers, however, urged the students to use the money judiciously and also learn to give back to the society.