High-Level Poverty Killing Education In Africa — UNILORIN VC

Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Professor Sulyman Age Abulkareem, has said the high level of poverty in Africa is the biggest disadvantage to advancing higher education.

He noted that: “We definitely have never had the adequate tools to do the right type of teaching and learning at the university level.”

Professor Abulkareem said this at the ongoing workshop tagged, ‘Western hub training,’ jointly organised by the University of Ghana (UG), Legon and Pedagogical Leadership in Africa (PedaL) and Master of Research and Public Policy (MRPP), supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Department (DFID), under the Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR), at the Swiss Spirit Hotel and Suites, Alisa, Accra, Ghana.

Speaking further, he said: “African governments must work on harnessing educational aid from international organisations to put us on the same platform with the Western and other developed countries.”

He said that the methods of teaching and learning, especially in Nigeria, would have to go through serious changes, such that facilitators of teaching and learning at all levels must lookout for the best ways to communicate their teachings through and with relevant technologies.

“Today, lecturers are deficient in needed skills and technologies to actually take the students to the top, where they can compete favourably with their colleagues in the rest of the world, hence the need for them to improve and equip themselves in some certain skills,” he said.

He expressed joy for being part of the pedagogical leadership crusade that is ongoing in Africa through PASGR’s PedaL team, saying that, “the innovation was timely and necessary at such as time as this in the history tertiary education in Africa.”

He enjoined participants who were drawn from African countries with the University Ghana playing the host, including other 12 participants universities in the sub-region to take the training seriously, as as to equip themselves with relevant innovations and methodologies to enhance effective teaching and learning in their various universities.

The vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, who doubles as the chairman of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA),  on the occasion,  said it was imperative that researches carried out by the academic staff in universities must begin to influence teaching and learning, otherwise, the university will not be different from a glorified secondary school.

He charged university teachers to leverage more on technology to aid teaching and learning, noting that “the world outside there is becoming competitive by the day; therefore, lecturers need to challenge the students on the usage of technology, rather than for them to be engaged in radical unionism alone.”

Dr. Paul Effah, the president of Radford University College, Legon, Accra while speaking on the topic: ‘Faculty development’ advised university teachers to be deliberate about producing “students who can change the world, as well as activity-concerned citizen, who will turn out to be critical thinkers and ethical leaders.”

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