Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
Prof Vongai Nyawo from Zimbabwe, has identified students involvement in cult activities and poor funding in tertiary institutions by the government as major threats in Nigeria’s institutions and other African countries.
Nyawo dropped the hint Friday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, during the maiden International Conference by Prof Ezenwa Ohaeto Resource Centre.
The two day conference with the theme; Emerging Trends in Tertiary Education in Africa also featured book presentation.
The book entitled: On Justice, Equity and Dignity: Recreating Woman being in Contemporary African Society was edited by Dr Ngozi Ezenwa-Ohaeto and Ijeoma Nwajiaku.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, Nyawo, expressed worry over the manner in which mainstream knowledge was produced and applied in today’s challenges facing education in Africa.
He added that financial meltdown had compounded the crisis in the education sector, which she said, included low salaries, and infrastructural decay.
According to the History lecturer, “the third generation institutions of 80s and 90s faced challenges of inadequate funding, increasing students population, limited infrastructural capacity, challenges of quality , relevance and massive brain drain and lots of other vices”
“The fourth generation coming around 2000 to date was introduced to face new demands for trained manpower as well as new forms of training that match the economy”
“Nigeria education is also riddled with cultism which is not very common in Southern African tertiary institutions where I come from”
“Cultism poses great danger to lives and properties of citizens. Sadly, on the increase in southern African tertiary institutions is suicide going up to ten students per year”
“Reason for these suicides have largely revolved around matters of the heart, love that would have gone wrong and in most cases, it has been male students dying because a staff member snatched their girlfriends”
“So, the question to ask is whether government has braced themselves to capacitate institutions of higher learning with funding, space for autonomy promote research and development”
Africa has a challenge to practice due diligence to demonstrate equality and set national benchmarks linked to world class standards,” the Professor said
The convener, Dr. Ngozi Ezenwa-Ohaeto, said the conference theme aimed at stimulating critical discourse among individuals in tertiary institutions, with the intension of exposing and tackling identifiable issues that were emerging in the nation’s tertiary system.
She informed that the core values of the resource centre was built around Prof Ezenwa-Ohaeto, who during his lifetime, won seminal laurels and brought fame to Nigeria and African literature.
While the vision, she continued, revolved around creating forum for creative writing, revitalizing reading culture in the society, especially among the youths, mentoring young academics and creating forum for academic discourses.
Ohaeto said, “to further promote academic activities, we have added academic journal to our operations”
“The journal dubbed: Prof Ezenwa Resource centre Journal of Arts and Humanities) with formidable editorial crew, is an online journal, very visible in the Google scholar. We are also in the business of indexing other journals,” Ohaeto said.