The three tiers of government in Nigeria have been called upon to declare a state of emergency in education in order to rescue the sector from the brink.
The Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Wahab Olasupo Egbewole, SAN, who made the call on Friday at the 37th and 38th Convocation Ceremonies of the University held at the University Main Auditorium Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said the education sector, particularly higher education, has suffered avoidable setbacks in the recent past leading to brain drain.
He said: “Our institutions need more hands to deliver on its mandates and funds for serious academic works, researches and collaborations for desired outputs. We wish to assure Mr. President that we will not rest on our oars for advancement and cutting-edge researches aimed at development and community engagement. We are on the cusp of a new era, one filled with opportunities and challenges that will shape the future of education and our society. I firmly believe that our institution is well prepared to face these challenges, and I have every confidence in the potential of our graduates to make a positive impact in their respective fields.
“We will continue the legacy of academic excellence and prepare our students to be the leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers of tomorrow.”
The VC, however, urged the graduands to critically think out of the box, be open-minded, and collaborate with others with a view to finding lasting solutions to complex issues, adding that the University has properly groomed them for this and expressed optimism that they would rise to the challenges.
He also admonished parents and guardians to continue to be the pillars of strength and encouragement to their children.
“To our esteemed alumni, I urge you to continue to support and mentor our graduands, for your guidance and experience will be invaluable as they navigate the challenges of the world beyond the university walls.
“I am proud to announce that our university has achieved remarkable milestones in terms of ranking, both nationally and internationally. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students. In a demonstration of our strong determination of becoming the best in Nigeria, our university has moved up the ranking ladder of leading ivory towers in Nigeria and for the 10th consecutive year, we again topped the list of most sought-after University in the country for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).”
“The University continued to enjoy the support of TETFUND as an intervention fund of ₦954,732,123.00 was allocated to the University by TETFUND for year 2023 to cover eleven (11) specific areas. Equally, the University received TETFund award of Five Hundred Million (₦500,000,000.00) hostel accommodation for our students and Two Hundred Million (₦200,000,000.00) for Zonal Interventions. The University is using the funds to execute different projects.Research and innovation are the lifeblood of our institution.”
“The university produced 4 patents in 2021/2022 academic session and currently has a total of 36 patents with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NATOP), Abuja. With this, University of Ilorin is one of the highest contributing institutions to patency in Nigeria. The number of our patents in the various disciplines are: Medical 5, Agriculture 5, Engineering 16, Food 1, Information Technology 4, Petrochemical 3, Defence 1, Energy 1. The various patents are currently being positioned for commercialisation. The remarkable achievements of our students are a source of pride for me as I recognize their outstanding talents, dedication, and hard work. The achievements of our students serve as a testament to the quality of education and opportunities that our institution provides. In the spirit of fostering an environment of learning, innovation and growth, our students have excelled in a myriad of fields, setting a standard of excellence.
“A total of 14,477 students will be convoking for the 37th Convocation Ceremonies. In the First Degree/Diploma category, we have 211 First Class, 4,143 Second Class (Upper Division), 6,570 Second Class (Lower Division), 1,742 Third Class and 30 Pass. The 37th Convocation Ceremonies also include 151 MBBS graduands, 73 Nursing graduands, 18 Optometry graduands, 43 Veterinary Medicine graduands, and 12 graduands with Distinction and 27 graduands with Pass in Pharmacy. In summary, the University will be graduating 13,020 for First Degrees/Diplomas. Furthermore, the total number of Higher Degrees to be awarded at the 37th Convocation Ceremonies is 1,457. Out of this figure, there are 75 Postgraduate Diplomas, 976 Masters from various Faculties, 88 Professional Masters’s Degrees, and 318 PhDs. The breakdown of the First Degrees/Diplomas and Higher Degrees graduating students at the 37th Convocation Ceremonies is presented in the table on the last page.As I remarked in my press briefing on Wednesday, October 18, 2023,” he added
Earlier, in his convocation lecturer entitled, ‘Modernity, Modernization and Values’, Prof. Toyin Falola, a Professor of History at the Department of History, University of Texas, Austin, United States of America, highlighted the importance of values in the face of rapid modernisation, emphasising the need to preserve the nation core ethical and moral principles while adapting to the changing world and to an institution.
He urged the graduands, as well as the students not to ruin their names, names of their parents and institution and be good ambassadors of the institution.