University of Ilorin, UNILORIN plans to provide free adult education programme for host community.
As part of its social service mandate to its host community, the Institute of Education (IOE), University of Ilorin, has concluded plans to provide free Adult Education programme and render free counseling services to inhabitants of Ilorin and its environs before the end of this year.
The Director of the Institute, Prof. Mudashiru Yusuf, who made this known in an interview with Unilorin Bulletin, said that efforts are on to bring back the self-sustaining extramural classes for candidates who have been failing in public examinations like the UTME and WAEC.
Pointing out that the programme will be carried out as a social service, Prof. Yusuf said its cost would be within the means of members of the University’s host community.
The Professor of Educational Technology highlighted some of the plans of the Institute as including the expansion of opportunities to accommodate more students through the establishment of certain Diploma programmes such as Human Kinetics and Health Education, Instructional Radio and Television, Art and Craft, Photography for School Certificate holders as well as the HND conversion programme.
Prof. Yusuf explained that the Institute’s mandate is to add value to the socio-economic development of the host community. He said, “The University is already doing it and we as a Faculty and the Institute of Education are collaborating to ensure that before the end of the year, we are going to mount free of charge, adult education programme for the people within Ilorin environment.”
The IOE Director said, “We are planning a Community Counselling Centre, which is going to be a free service by the University”. He pointed out that there are counseling issues on marital affairs, academic matters, job issues, mental health issues, and teenage affairs, adding that “there are experts to address these issues”.
He disclosed that these services will be sited on the mini-campus where the IOE is located.
The Director further stated that there would be collaboration between the Counselling Unit and the Centre for Supportive Services for the Deaf (CSSD), the Department of Health Education and even the College of Health Sciences for the overall benefit of the community.
Prof. Yusuf said, “We want to give the community a standard extramural environment where students will be taught and not assisted to cheat like some Centres are doing; we want to set the standard. We are educators; we know the standard and we should not just be blaming others for doing what is wrong, we should establish the standard and then others will follow the standard.”
On infrastructure to match these plans, the IOE Director said, “We are lucky that we have an administration that manages resources in the best of manner, and we are discussing with administration and we are calling experts to access what we have on ground, and efforts are on to ensure that this place is put into very good shape.”
Prof. Yusuf enjoined the Federal Government to accord priority to the funding of education, which is essential to the development of any society and treat teachers with respect in the areas of welfare, wages, job security and infrastructure. He said, “You must motivate and encourage the best minds to come into teaching,” adding that “as at today, teacher education is the secret of Singapore’s success.”
“What is the context of our teachers? What input do we have in them? What is the process of their working? How can you now expect quality products when the context is defective, the input is defective, the process is defective and people are talking about the students not passing; how will they pass when the government is not even doing anything serious about it…what we are having is the output of our poor planning, not paying attention, not giving the teachers what I will term facilitating conditions, in terms of remuneration, promotion and conditions of service.”
“Motivation has two dimensions; intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. The intrinsic one comes from the mind and in most cases; the extrinsic motivation will lead to that. The most important factor in student performance and achievement is the students themselves, followed by the teachers, followed by the school environment. Those who come into the teaching profession should be those who are willing to be teachers who see this as a calling not as a last resort or accidental teachers. There is the agreement with the government for special bonus for teachers, if they don’t implement it, they can’t be motivated”, he stressed.
The IOE Director, who recalled the contributions of a former Minister of Education, late Prof. Babs Fafunwa to the development of the education sector in Nigeria as a result of his vast experience, pointed out that the management of education has become politicised, urging the Government not to presume that everybody knows about the sector. He said that only educationists should be given the privilege to develop policies for the sector. “Let those who know about education proffer solutions to education, it should not be a political issue.” he maintained.
Aina makes case for establishment of National Research Council
The immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, Prof. L.O. Aina, has called for the immediate establishment of a National Research Council in Nigeria that will be saddled with the responsibility of promoting and encouraging research endeavours.
Prof. Aina, who made the call last Wednesday (April 6, 2016) while delivering a lecture at Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, said that when established, the council would ultimately drive ground-breaking research activities that will be of great impact on national development.
The Professor of Library and Information Sciences said that the proposed National Research Council and the National Universities Commission should set machinery in motion for the ranking of Universities in the country based on research output.
Prof. Aina explained that this ranking would be based mainly on articles published in scholarly journals that are listed by Web of Science, Scopus and journals with h-index of 10 and above. He said that the top-ranking universities must be adequately rewarded in terms of generous research grants.
The don, who spoke on “The Visibility of Researchers: Measuring the Impact of Journals in a Scholarly Community”, advised Nigerian researchers to always strive hard to publish their articles in top-rated journals in the world.
He lamented that Nigeria was ranked very low in terms of research output and quality of scholarly journals because researchers in the country generally publish their research findings in journals that will accept their papers rather than focusing on journals that require rigorous peer reviewing.
This scenario, he said, accounted for the low visibility of Nigerian researchers which essentially make their publications to have low impact in the international scholarly community.
Prof. Aina called on the Federal Government to make research funding a priority while also providing strategies that will improve the research output in Nigeria.
He advocated the creation of enabling environment for researchers to encourage and motivate them to dwell extensively on research findings with high level of visibility that will herald unprecedented community development.
Prof. Aina said in Nigeria, academics are no longer evaluated after attaining the professorial positions, saying that many Professors are not engaged in major research projects, but only engaged in research projects they supervise at Masters and Doctoral levels, which he said should not be so.
He, therefore, suggested that Professors be evaluated every five years while appropriate rewards should be given to those that are actively involved in research. He said the reward could be in form of percentage increase in their salaries, up to 50 percent where necessary.
The lecture was attended by academics of various disciplines among who are some members of the University of Ilorin community. They included the Dean, Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, Prof. J.S. Sadiku; the Head of the Department of Computer Science, Prof. B. A. Oluwade; the Sub-Dean, Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, Dr. A.L. Azeez; the Ag. Head of the Department of Library and Information Science, Dr A.O. Issa; and the Deputy Director of Ilorin Business School, Dr R.G. Jimoh, among others.