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News Updates: UNILAG SUG New Executives, Fed Poly Bida New Rector



UNILAG Gets New Student Union Executives The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Students’ Union executive committee members, elected on Thursday, March 26, 2015 will be sworn-in on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 10 a.m. in the Main Auditorium, UNILAG, Akoka. Below are the elected executives of the UNILAG Students’ Union Government (SUG): 1. Mr. Martins, Abiodun Abdur-Rafii  – ... Continue Reading

UNILAG Gets New Student Union Executives

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Students’ Union executive committee members, elected on Thursday, March 26, 2015 will be sworn-in on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 10 a.m. in the Main Auditorium, UNILAG, Akoka.

Below are the elected executives of the UNILAG Students’ Union Government (SUG):

1. Mr. Martins, Abiodun Abdur-Rafii  – President
2. Mr. Akinsulire, Bisoye Olaniyi – Vice President
3. Mr. Babalola, Olufemi  Paul – General Secretary
4. Mr. Bello, Olasunkanmi Tunji – Asst. Secretary General
5. Mr. Adegunoye, Olakunle Charles   – Public Relations Officer
6. Mr. Suleimon, Taiwo Adeola – Treasurer
7. Mr. Oguntola, Enitan Abayomi – Financial Secretary
8. Mr. Olanisimi, Oluwatobi Emmanuel – Welfare Secretary I
9. Mr. Mustapha, Lekan Junior – Welfare Secretary II
10. Mr. Opadoja, Micheal Olamide – Social Secretary
11. Miss. Etiaka, A. Stephanie – Sports Secretary
12. Mr. James, John  – Internal Auditor

It will be recalled that the management of University of Lagos banned student unionism in the institution following the violence that engulfed the school in 2005.

Congratulations to the new SUG executives.

Federal Polytechnic Bida Gets New Rector

The Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida has approved the appointment of Dr. Abubakar Dzukogi as the Rector of the institution.

Until his appointment, Dzukogi was a deputy director in the institution. His appointment took effect from March, 2015.

He holds a degree in Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano (BUK) and M.Sc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

Dzukogi bagged his doctorate degree from Benue State University (BSU), Markudi.

He has held positions as head of Mass Communication Department, Directorate for Continuing Education and Directorate of Academic Affairs.

Congratulations to Dr. Dzukogi on his new appointment.

Buhari’s government should not tolerate cultism –UNILORIN VC

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, speaks on a new agenda for the incoming administration in this interview with SUCCESS NWOGU

What are your expectations from the Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Presidency in the education sector?

For education generally, I hope he will be able to encourage all the stakeholders, especially at the lower level, primary and secondary levels, to pay greater attention to the quality of education they are giving to the pupils. This is important so that whenever people graduate and are coming to the tertiary institutions, they will be well groomed and well trained to worth the university education they aspire to have.

There is also the need to pay teachers very well because if you take what is happening at the primary and secondary school levels, their teachers are not well paid, and even if the authorities want to pay them, their salaries do not come on time. Other welfare issues that will encourage teachers to be more dedicated have been eroded. So if the Buhari administration can address these things, then there can be a guarantee that the education offered to Nigerians will improve.

For the higher education level, what is your take?

I expect the incoming president to empower us to be able to carry out the three responsibilities given to universities by the Federal Government; that is teaching, research and community service. That means that we need more funding to be able to achieve all these things. To be able to carry out both effective teaching and learning, there is also the need to improve on the environment within and outside the classroom. Again, teaching is Information and Communication Technology-driven these days, which means that greater attention has to be paid to the infrastructural development in that area.

Then, when it comes to research, you cannot carry it out without electricity supply. So, I want the Federal Government to address the issue of power supply not only to the universities but also to all Nigerians because when researchers leave the laboratories, they have to go home. If they get home and cannot sleep comfortably, that means the following day, they will not be mentally and psychologically ready to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Again, we need the state-of-the art-equipment in our laboratories, which means that there is the need to devote a greater amount of fund to the updating of facilities in our laboratories.

The exposure of our scientists to international community is also very important. We should expose our scientists to be able to interact effectively with their counterparts across the world either through conference attendance, or through ICT facilities so that there will be improved communication between them.

We also have to reach out to our communities at least to show what the universities do to better their lives. In such a case, we have to be encouraged to carry out the product of our research to the community. This means that we need mobility and better funding to be able to do that. We also need improvement in our manpower because to be able to reach out, you have to get people that will assist you get in touch with the local community.

How would you advise the Buhari administration to tackle cultism and sorting (bribery) in tertiary institutions?

The government should encourage the universities and other institutions of learning to implement zero tolerance to cultism and other vices. It can only do this by ensuring that anybody caught, no matter from which home he comes, should get an appropriate punishment. We need the support of the government, parents and law enforcement agencies because the university authorities can only discipline students to a certain level. This means that all stakeholders should cooperate with the university so that we can maintain the required discipline.

If we monitor our children well, they will be under our control. Besides, the government should improve on funding so that we would be able to provide more accommodation within the universities. A situation where the greater number of our students are coming from outside the campus means that they will not effectively respect the rules and regulations of the university authorities. In effect, we need more funding to be able to accomplish more in the sector.

Some stakeholders argue that the quality of education in the country is declining, do you agree to this school of thought?

The quality of education is improving. Nigerian education is one of the best in Africa and even in the world. We probably need to pay more attention to the practical aspect of what we are teaching.

I know what is happening across the world. Theoretically, quite a number of graduates of Nigerians universities are well grounded. All we need to do is to expose them more to the practical aspect of what we are teaching. They have been living up to expectations. Once you know the theory, you will adjust within a short possible time for the practical aspect and appreciate what you have upstairs.

With more funding, we will be able to improve on the infrastructure and by extension the practical aspects of what we are teaching them in schools.

Is the approach of establishing new universities the elixir for achieving the best in terms of university education?

I think we need to improve on access to university education. That has been one of the positions of the international community. The thinking, especially of those in charge of education, is that there is the need to improve on both access and quality. For example, at the 2014 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, no fewer than 105, 000 applied to study at the University of Ilorin. This year, no fewer than 107, 000 candidates also applied to study in the university. Unfortunately, we can only accommodate maybe between 11,000 and 12,000 candidates. So, imagine disappointing up to 90,000 admission seekers. That means those 90,000 should have alternative apart from UNILORIN. If you consider how many spaces we have for them, the universities that we have are too small to meet the demands for tertiary education in the country. Even with improvement in funding and already existing universities, we still need more universities. It is also important to increase the capacity of the present ones and increase funding to match their needs.

Considering the problems associated with the computer-based test used in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, is that option still the best for such an examination?

I think the CBT is the best option that we have for now. Any form of examination has its own challenges and this is not an exception. It is the best option because it has given the examiners more opportunities to cut down malpractice. With CBT, even if you are sitting side by side, it may not be actually the same questions as you are answering; which means communication between two individuals in an examination has been minimised.

Again, when it comes to marking, it is computerised. So, the human intervention or bias is also minimised. In addition, the CBT involves objective kind of question; so, the candidate has to read widely. It encourages people to read wider than if it were other forms of examination.

It is also easier for everybody. There is minimal complaint to the administration as far as scores are concerned. Also, the time lag between examination marking and result release has been cut by almost 90 per cent. In those days, it would take couple of weeks to get the results released. We also saw the challenges of electricity supply, water supply and other social amenities that prevent examiners from carrying out marking. The use of CBT has addressed some of these problems.

Now within a short time, examinations are marked, results released and virtually this development cuts off the human interventions. The use of the CBT has addressed some of these problems.

What effort is UNILORIN making to give students the best?

UNILORIN is trying to put in place a university of the next century. We are also preparing ourselves for the kind of students that we will be having in the next four or five years. Already, some state governments are improving on their provision of ICT facilities at the secondary school level. So the expectation is that more pupils will be coming into the university system all computer literate.

To meet with this expectation, we are ensuring that by the time they secure admission, they will continue with their high computer literacy. We are also providing our new students with PC tablets.

In addition, information flow at the university now is computer based. So by the time the students come, they will find everything already done to empower them.

Again, we are improving our environment because the business of the university is to deal with an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning. Our ambition to make sure that the university will be the best place to learn. Our classrooms are undergoing revolution. We are improving our electricity supply and other infrastructure so that both lecturers and students will get the best.

We are also spending quite a lot of resources to send our young members of staff for postgraduate training both within and outside the country. Quite a number of them are undergoing training abroad. We are also encouraging our members of staff to attend international conferences so that they will compare notes with their counterparts from across the world and get more exposed as well as boost their knowledge and skills.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, speaks on a new agenda for the incoming administration in this interview with SUCCESS NWOGU

What are your expectations from the Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Presidency in the education sector?

For education generally, I hope he will be able to encourage all the stakeholders, especially at the lower level, primary and secondary levels, to pay greater attention to the quality of education they are giving to the pupils. This is important so that whenever people graduate and are coming to the tertiary institutions, they will be well groomed and well trained to worth the university education they aspire to have.

There is also the need to pay teachers very well because if you take what is happening at the primary and secondary school levels, their teachers are not well paid, and even if the authorities want to pay them, their salaries do not come on time. Other welfare issues that will encourage teachers to be more dedicated have been eroded. So if the Buhari administration can address these things, then there can be a guarantee that the education offered to Nigerians will improve.

For the higher education level, what is your take?

I expect the incoming president to empower us to be able to carry out the three responsibilities given to universities by the Federal Government; that is teaching, research and community service. That means that we need more funding to be able to achieve all these things. To be able to carry out both effective teaching and learning, there is also the need to improve on the environment within and outside the classroom. Again, teaching is Information and Communication Technology-driven these days, which means that greater attention has to be paid to the infrastructural development in that area.

Then, when it comes to research, you cannot carry it out without electricity supply. So, I want the Federal Government to address the issue of power supply not only to the universities but also to all Nigerians because when researchers leave the laboratories, they have to go home. If they get home and cannot sleep comfortably, that means the following day, they will not be mentally and psychologically ready to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Again, we need the state-of-the art-equipment in our laboratories, which means that there is the need to devote a greater amount of fund to the updating of facilities in our laboratories.

The exposure of our scientists to international community is also very important. We should expose our scientists to be able to interact effectively with their counterparts across the world either through conference attendance, or through ICT facilities so that there will be improved communication between them.

We also have to reach out to our communities at least to show what the universities do to better their lives. In such a case, we have to be encouraged to carry out the product of our research to the community. This means that we need mobility and better funding to be able to do that. We also need improvement in our manpower because to be able to reach out, you have to get people that will assist you get in touch with the local community.

How would you advise the Buhari administration to tackle cultism and sorting (bribery) in tertiary institutions?

The government should encourage the universities and other institutions of learning to implement zero tolerance to cultism and other vices. It can only do this by ensuring that anybody caught, no matter from which home he comes, should get an appropriate punishment. We need the support of the government, parents and law enforcement agencies because the university authorities can only discipline students to a certain level. This means that all stakeholders should cooperate with the university so that we can maintain the required discipline.

If we monitor our children well, they will be under our control. Besides, the government should improve on funding so that we would be able to provide more accommodation within the universities. A situation where the greater number of our students are coming from outside the campus means that they will not effectively respect the rules and regulations of the university authorities. In effect, we need more funding to be able to accomplish more in the sector.

Some stakeholders argue that the quality of education in the country is declining, do you agree to this school of thought?

The quality of education is improving. Nigerian education is one of the best in Africa and even in the world. We probably need to pay more attention to the practical aspect of what we are teaching.

I know what is happening across the world. Theoretically, quite a number of graduates of Nigerians universities are well grounded. All we need to do is to expose them more to the practical aspect of what we are teaching. They have been living up to expectations. Once you know the theory, you will adjust within a short possible time for the practical aspect and appreciate what you have upstairs.

With more funding, we will be able to improve on the infrastructure and by extension the practical aspects of what we are teaching them in schools.

Is the approach of establishing new universities the elixir for achieving the best in terms of university education?

I think we need to improve on access to university education. That has been one of the positions of the international community. The thinking, especially of those in charge of education, is that there is the need to improve on both access and quality. For example, at the 2014 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations organised by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, no fewer than 105, 000 applied to study at the University of Ilorin. This year, no fewer than 107, 000 candidates also applied to study in the university. Unfortunately, we can only accommodate maybe between 11,000 and 12,000 candidates. So, imagine disappointing up to 90,000 admission seekers. That means those 90,000 should have alternative apart from UNILORIN. If you consider how many spaces we have for them, the universities that we have are too small to meet the demands for tertiary education in the country. Even with improvement in funding and already existing universities, we still need more universities. It is also important to increase the capacity of the present ones and increase funding to match their needs.

Considering the problems associated with the computer-based test used in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, is that option still the best for such an examination?

I think the CBT is the best option that we have for now. Any form of examination has its own challenges and this is not an exception. It is the best option because it has given the examiners more opportunities to cut down malpractice. With CBT, even if you are sitting side by side, it may not be actually the same questions as you are answering; which means communication between two individuals in an examination has been minimised.

Again, when it comes to marking, it is computerised. So, the human intervention or bias is also minimised. In addition, the CBT involves objective kind of question; so, the candidate has to read widely. It encourages people to read wider than if it were other forms of examination.

It is also easier for everybody. There is minimal complaint to the administration as far as scores are concerned. Also, the time lag between examination marking and result release has been cut by almost 90 per cent. In those days, it would take couple of weeks to get the results released. We also saw the challenges of electricity supply, water supply and other social amenities that prevent examiners from carrying out marking. The use of CBT has addressed some of these problems.

Now within a short time, examinations are marked, results released and virtually this development cuts off the human interventions. The use of the CBT has addressed some of these problems.

What effort is UNILORIN making to give students the best?

UNILORIN is trying to put in place a university of the next century. We are also preparing ourselves for the kind of students that we will be having in the next four or five years. Already, some state governments are improving on their provision of ICT facilities at the secondary school level. So the expectation is that more pupils will be coming into the university system all computer literate.

To meet with this expectation, we are ensuring that by the time they secure admission, they will continue with their high computer literacy. We are also providing our new students with PC tablets.

In addition, information flow at the university now is computer based. So by the time the students come, they will find everything already done to empower them.

Again, we are improving our environment because the business of the university is to deal with an environment that is conducive for teaching and learning. Our ambition to make sure that the university will be the best place to learn. Our classrooms are undergoing revolution. We are improving our electricity supply and other infrastructure so that both lecturers and students will get the best.

We are also spending quite a lot of resources to send our young members of staff for postgraduate training both within and outside the country. Quite a number of them are undergoing training abroad. We are also encouraging our members of staff to attend international conferences so that they will compare notes with their counterparts from across the world and get more exposed as well as boost their knowledge and skills. (PUNCH NG)

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