The Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede has stressed the need for Nigerian Universities to rededicate themselves to the pursuit of scholarship and ensure total commitment to research for National development.

Speaking on Thursday, July 29, 2021, in the University of Lagos, Professor Ogunbodede also advocated a stronger collaboration among stakeholders in the education sector to drive innovations and initiatives thereby turning the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant consequences into opportunities that would speed up educational reforms and build resilience in University systems.

This, according to Professor Ogunbodede, would prepare both tutors and learners to withstand such future occurrences.

This formed part of hints dropped by Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, the speaker at the 9th Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe Memorial Lecture.

The annual lecture which held at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium of UNILAG under the auspices of the UNILAG Alumni Association, Lagos state branch is titled; Education Administration and the New Normal: A Forecast of the Nigerian Educational System in the Post Pandemic Era.

The Guest Speaker traced the history of formal education in Nigeria to over 3 centuries ago, bemoaned the current state of public primary and secondary education in Nigeria, a fate which he said predicts the future of government-funded tertiary institutions in Nigeria if not quickly arrested, He also raised concerns over what he called the continued incursion of public universities by various governmental and non-governmental institutions, a development which he said is unhealthy for tertiary education.

The speaker pointed out that notwithstanding the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, it launched Universities globally into a new normal, one which necessitated the redesigning and readapting of university curriculums with emphasis on a blended approach (i.e. virtual and physical approach) to teaching and learning.

As a way forward, the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University advocated a re-orientation within the university system with emphasis on strategic planning, comprehensive evaluation, monitoring, and accreditation of programmes as well as maintenance of regular academic calendar to ensure Nigerian universities nest nationally while attaining global status and recognition.

Professor Ogunbobede also condemned what he called the sustained assault on university autonomy in Nigeria, a development he said has continued to hamper the innovative possibilities and developmental progress which many Nigerian universities could have enjoyed.

Earlier in their separate remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos; Professor Oluwatoyin Ogunbdipe FAS alongside the chairman of the occasion and immediate past Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos; Prof Rahamon Bello FAENG both recalled events of late Friday, May 11, 2012, when Professor Babatunde Sofoluwe passed on. They both described the day as the darkest moment in the history of UNILAG and commended the Alumni association for its unalloyed commitment to protecting and preserving the name, structure and legacies of the University of Lagos not minding the sacrifices involved.   

National President, UNILAG Alumni Association worldwide and Chairman; Channels TV; Dr. John Momoh OON, Chairman, UNILAG Alumni, Lagos branch, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu and the Chairman, Planning Committee of the 9th Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe Memorial Lecture; Dr. Khalid Adekoya all paid glowing tributes to late Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe describing him as an enigma of leadership and administrative excellence.

Born on April 15, 1950, the late Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe began his teaching career as a Graduate Assistant in 1976, became a Professor of Computer Science in October 1996 and served in several capacities such as Head, Department of Computer Science (1989-1991 and 1994-1996), Dean, Faculty of Science (1998-2002), member, University of Lagos Governing Council and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services.

Late Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe succeeded Professor Tolulope Odugbemi by becoming the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos on January 31, 2010, a post he held till Friday, May 11, 2012, when he succumbed to the cold hands of death at the age of 62.

Watch the lecture here:

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