“We must break down the silos within the academic environment” – Professor Ochefu charges Nigerian universities

By – Aduwo Ayodele

The Secretary General of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, who doubles as a Professor of Economic History and Development Studies at the Benue State University, Makurdi, Professor Yakubu Ochefu, has admonished stakeholders in the country’s education sector to consider “flipping” the ravaging national situation, by turning problems into opportunities.

The Don gave the charge while speaking at the 81st  Interdisciplinary Research Discourse of the Postgraduate College of the University of Ibadan, entitled “Rethinking the Philosophy of University Education in Nigeria in the Era of Education  4.0″.

Professor Ochefu in his lecture looked at the triggers, which disrupts the nature and character of higher education in Nigeria and how to translate them into opportunities in an effort to reform and transform the education sector.

He recommended that ‘we must foster collaboration and teamwork, pursue and encourage interdisciplinary partnerships, and break down the silos within the academic environment’.

Professor Ochefu also advocated for the ‘efficient and effective management of resources’, adding that ‘resources must be allocated strategically, effectiveness must be prioritized, and transparency ensured in decision making’.

The Secretary General of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities also emphasized the need for Vice Chancellors to ‘possess the emotional intelligence required to build conflict resolution skills and address difficult situations heads-on, with fairness, objectivity, and firmness’.

In his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode O. Adebowale, as the Chairman at the Discourse, noted that education remains an important instrument for growth and national development.

“We need a periodic review of the nation’s philosophy of education. When one considers the dynamic nature of society, the ever-changing challenges must be creatively tackled if society would remain functional” the Vice Chancellor said.

Professor Adebowale noted that the appellation of the discourse (Education 4.0) was envisioned as a hybrid model that empowers students and lecturers to think critically in a manner that challenges traditional boundaries of learning.

“This model of education aligns and synchronizes with the emerging fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0” Professor Adebowale noted.

“Rethinking the philosophy of university education in Nigeria requires a shift in mindset and approaches to teaching and learning as well as leveraging digitalisation to enable learning anywhere at any time in the world” the Vice Chancellor added.


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