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Nigerian universities will never reach world class – IBK

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Maude Rabiu Gwadabe

Ibrahim Bello-Kano (IBK), a professor of English literature at Bayero University Kano (BUK) says Nigerian universities have degenerated into ‘Super Secondary Schools’ and there is no hope for recovery.

Mr Bello-Kano asserted this a roundtable program on reviving the culture of debate and critical thinking in the Nigerian university system.

The event was organized by the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in Kano.

“Nigerian universities have declined irretrievably and will never be better than they are now”, said IBK.

The radical professor lamented that Nigerian lecturers have become mere civil servants with a teaching function rather than academics pursuing knowledge.

He recalled with nostalgia the intellectual ferment in Nigerian universities during the 70s and early 80s when inter-disciplinary scholarship was the norm.

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Four factors

Mr Bello-Kano attributed the decline in the quality of Nigerian universities to four factors.

These include poor quality of students entering the university, lack of diversity in the academic staff, poor quality of university administrators, as well as dubious processes of recruitment and promotion of lecturers.

According to him, these factors have combined to rob Nigerian universities of their former glories and will never allow them to recover.

He therefore argued that the university system is beyond recovery and all hope is now pinned on “spirited and committed intellectuals within the system” as well as independent research centres to produce cutting edge knowledge.

Overhaul basic education

In his submission, head of the MacArthur Foundation, Africa regional office, Kole Shettima urged for the total overhaul of Nigeria’s basic education system.

Mr Shettima, who has a PhD in Political Science said the universities cannot be revitalized without reforming primary and secondary education.

He argued that the current system does not allow children the chance to grow critical minds but is targeted at developing their capacity to pass examinations through memorization.

“My son who attends primary school in Canada is learning four subjects while his counterparts in Nigeria are grappling with 16,” he said.

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In his remarks, chairman of the occasion, Ibrahim Mu’azzam of the department of Political Science, BUK cautioned the National Universities Commission (NUC) against its plan of transforming Nigerian universities based on a market model.

Mr Mu’azzam said treating students as clients is a sure recipe for the demise of Nigerian university system.

He added that Latin American countries have tried it in the past and have failed woefully.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dr Sunday Okakwu Ape

    July 30, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Prof IBK is a man of truth; he tells the truth without fear nor favour. I want to remind him our previous discussion about the collapse of the Nigerian universities system. We identified localization as one of the factors contributing to the fall of Nigerian universities. University managements are only interested in employing lecturers from their catchment areas, driving away those who are better qualified for the job,though outside the catchment zones. The whole system is bastardly politicized; so it appears irretrievable indeed.

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Danbatta, NCC boss, bags prestigious Zik Prize

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NCC EVC Profile Picture

Nasiru Yusuf

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Garba Danbatta, has emerged the winner of the 2019 Zik Prize, in the professional leadership category.

Kano Focus reports that a member of the Advisory Board of the prestigious award Pat Utomi announced the winners in a webinar on Thursday.

Mr Utomi said Danbatta and Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA) are the winners in that category.

“Prof Umar Garba Danbatta is a square page in a square hole.

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“An academic professor, Danbatta has, through the NCC, led the charge to drive Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications.

“Telecommunications’ contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria has grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration has leaped from 8 percent to 42 percent, in the same period.”

“His leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, NCC was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost regulator,” Mr Utomi observed.

In a letter of nomination in July 2020, which was jointly signed by the Chairman of the Board, Jubril Aminu, and Utomi, the NCC boss was described as “an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”

The Zik Prize was set up in 1994 in honor of the first President of Nigeria, late Nnamdi Azikiwe, with a view to encouraging and nurturing leadership in Africa and the diaspora.

Among the past winners are: former President of Ghana, J. J. Rawligs (1995); Late Nelson Mandela, President Yonweri Muzeveni of Uganda and former Chairman of NCC’s Governing Board, Ahmed Joda, among other illustrious leaders of the continent.

This year’s winners include the Senate President, Ahmed Lawal and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, who won in political leadership and public service categories, respectively.

Others are Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, his counterpart from Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Oyo State Governor, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde, who won in good governance category.

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Schools reopening: Kano SUBEB urges principals to obey Covid-19 protocols

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Danlami Hayyo

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The executive chairman, Kano State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), has urged primary school Head teachers and junior secondary schools principals to obey Covid-19 protocols whenever schools reopened.

Kano Focus reports that Danlami Hayyo made the call while declaring open a two day workshop on post Covid-19 measures.

Kano SUBEB spokesperson, Balarabe Danlami Jazuli said in a statement issued to Kano Focus that the theme of the workshop is ‘’safety measures in schools against Covid-19: developing skills during and after the pandemic. ‘’

According to the statement, Mr Hayyo said the training was organized by the Universal Basic Education Board Commission (UBEC) in conjunction with the SUBEB for State School Improvement team.

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He said the participants would step down the training to primary schools Head teachers and principals of junior secondary schools.

“The workshop is aimed at ensuring healthy and conducive learning environment for both teachers and pupils and also to prepare for full resumption of school children to protect them against the deadly disease – covid 19.” Mr. Hayyo said.

One  of the participants Ubale Garba, said they are ready to replicate the knowledge acquired during the training.

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Vice-chancellor: YUMSUK shortlists 8 candidates

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YUMSUK

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano (YUMSUK) has shortlisted eight professors for the post of vice-chancellor.

Kano Focus reports that YUMSUK spokesperson Abdullahi Abba Hassan said this in a statement issued on Thursday.

He said the  vice-chancellor selection board will interview the shortlisted candidates on  September 29 and 30.

“The process was delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic, while the tenure of the former Vice Chancellor came to an end on May 17, this year.” Mr Hassan said.

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He said all the eight candidates are Kano state indigenes from various institutions of learning.

They include Shehu Ma’aji, professor of Technology Education at Kano University of Science and Technology  (KUST) Wudil, Mukhtar Kurawa, professor of inorganic Chemistry and Rector Kano state Polytechnic, Bako El-Yakub Jibri, professor of Chemical Engineering at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, and Ali Tijjani Abdullahi, professor of special education at Bayero University Kano (BUK).

Others are Balarabe Jakada, professor of Business Management and Provost of Aminu Kano College of Islamic and Legal Studies, Aliyu Musa, professor of Curriculum and Instruction at YUMSUK, Sadiq Abubakar, professor of Agricultural Engineering at ABU Zaria, and Lawal Alhassan Bichi, professor of Pharmacology at BUK.

Meanwhile the new pro-chancellor and chairman of the Governing Council of the YUMSUK, Muhammad Yahuza Bello has assumed duty.

Mr Bello, professor of Mathematics and immediate past vice-chancellor of BUK, pledged to serve the university diligently.

 

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