By Adekunle Jimoh , Ilorin
Vice Chancellor of Al-Hikmah University, Prof. Noah Yusuf, has urged university administrators to de-emphasise paper certification.
Instead, Yusuf canvassed practical skill acquisition and all-round university education.
The professor of sociology said this in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, during the commemorate of his first anniversary in office.
He sought for the establishment of more universities to match the growing prospective admission seekers in the country.
He said: “The proliferation of universities in Nigeria may not necessarily demean quality education in the country. If one considers the population of prospective candidates yearning for university education vis-a- vis the number of existing universities in Nigeria, one may have no other option but to conclude that there is the need for more. On an annual basis, over 1.2 million candidates are known to sit for UTME in the country while on the average the existing admission placement is less than 450,000. Obviously, the existing admission quota cannot meet the ever growing demands of candidates.
“However, the emphasis of university education should be on practical skill acquisition and all round education rather than paper certification.If this emphasis is achieved, then, the country would have been seen to justify the large number of existing universities.”
The former director of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies also made a case for more more faith-based tertiary institutions.
He said: “While the conventional universities focused on nominal training to the students. faith-based universities perform additional role for the society through emphasis on the morality and spiritual education of the students.
“This becomes highly important in contemporary Nigerian society which is contending with the challenge of drug abuse, cultism, etc. Further, private universities complement the public universities in making university education accessible to the teeming Nigerian youths desirous of quality.”
Yusuf concluded by calling on the government to support private universities.
He said: “I would like to end this address by re-echoing the appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria to take proactive action towards granting financial and logistic support to private universities. As emphasised earlier in my address, private universities are playing a very significant role in the country in terms of expansion of university education to the teeming Nigerian youths and also serve to check and prevent social upheaval and youth restiveness by ensuring uninterrupted academic calendar.
“In another sense, if the Federal Government can bail out banks to prevent financial distress, the same could be extended to private universities, to prevent youth restiveness and attendant social dis-equilibrium. Both are geared towards national stability!”