Former Vice Chancerllor University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe has called for more attention to the educational sector, saying it is the bedrock of the economy.
Ibidapo-Obe, who was guest speaker during the inauguration of the President of Rotary Club, Onigbongbo, Mr James Olajide Ajayi in Ikeja, Lagos, said if attention was paid to education, many of the country’s challenges would be solved.
He said the call became necessary because things were going from bad to worse in the sector. He said some teachers were non-challenat to their professional duties, preferring to sale things rather than teach. He lamented that in many public schools are in decript state, where pupils carry their tables and desks on their heads to school to learn either in dirty environment or under trees.
He recalled that in those days, children were attracted to go to schools because they were beautiful with well-laid lawns and flowers adorning them. Also, the teachers were more dedicated, such they give report cards to pupils to take home every weekend.
Noting that the right to education is fundamental as it is enshrined in the Constitution and the The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (also known as the Banjul Charter), Ibidapo-Obe called for attitudinal change from government, parents and teachers to enable children enjoy this right. He said in the sector is not about more funding alone, but more of change of attitude by the stakeholders. He said the government could put all the money, but if the attitudes of the practitioners were not changed, there would be minimal or no results.
He urged Rotary to fill the gap, adding that the government could not do the work alone.
Ayayi unfolded his programmes and projects during his tenure, which include education, saying he had hit the ground running with the donation of textbooks to Immaculate Junior and Senior High Schools, Maryland and marking of Rotary’s Literacy Week with a seminar on adult education.
At the event were former Deputy Vice Chancellor, UNLAG Prof Duro Oni; former District 9110 Governors Dr Wale Ogunbadejo; Kola Sodipo and Dr Sodeinde Soga.