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Education needs composite model – Omigbodun

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Multifaceted strategies are essential in building a strong academic community.

Professor Akinyinka Omigbodun, a former Provost of the College of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, believes that enhancing tertiary Education in Nigeria will necessitate a multifaceted approach to interventions. During the 44th University Lecture at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Omigbodun emphasised the importance of creating a strong academic community in his presentation titled “From Cells to Systems: Building a Vibrant Academy.” The University Lecture for the 2022/2023 academic session marked the culmination of a series of inaugural lectures.

It was divided into three parts focusing on the interconnectedness of cells, organs, and systems. These parts explored how cells engage with the system, how the system nourishes the cell, and ways to improve the overall functioning of the system. He further emphasised the interconnectedness of financing, democracy, national economy, and personnel development in enhancing Tertiary Education. He highlighted that adequate funding is crucial for building infrastructure, supporting research, providing scholarships, and ensuring competitive Salaries.

Local infrastructure and job opportunities depend on the national economy.

His observation found that academic freedom and creativity flourish most in a democratic society, characterised by adherence to laws, social harmony, open communication, and consensus-driven choices. The university lecturer emphasised that the quality of municipal infrastructure, services, and employment prospects post-training are contingent upon the state of the national Economy. They stressed the importance of recruiting top graduates to pursue further training and remain within the university as educators. He emphasised the importance of creating a unified vision and promoting mentorship to nurture emerging leaders.

He stated the need for leaders to promote consensus, trust, and teamwork to ensure smooth transitions and continuity within the system. Omigbodun said that TETFund’s interventions should focus solely on Infrastructure while suggesting creating separate funding mechanisms for university research and staff development. He believes collaboration with businesses, academic institutions, and research centres is crucial for advancing. The Professor emphasised the importance of ensuring that the salaries of academics and university staff are competitive both within the country and globally to attract and retain talent in the academic sector.

Institutions can enhance resource access through technological advancement.

The TETFund, an organisation created to solve financial concerns in Nigerian postsecondary institutions, aligns with Professor Omigbodun’s proposals. The TETFund has advanced academic progress by financing infrastructure provision. Omigbodun contends that more focused efforts might produce better results. He suggests that various financing organisations be set up to handle the particular demands of personnel development and research, while the TETFund emphasises infrastructure. This separation would enable more focused attention to each important subject, creating an atmosphere where academic development and research can thrive without infrastructure issues.

Also. he emphasises how critical it is to include digital resources and contemporary technologies in the country’s Educational System. Using technological improvements, institutions can improve access to instructional resources, streamline administrative procedures, and improve learning experiences. Creating digital libraries, online learning environments, and collaborative technologies that enhance communication between educators, students, and the international academic community should all be part of this technological integration. Technology investments help modernise the educational system and provide students with the digital skills that are increasingly important in a globally competitive workforce.

Related Article: Nigeria has the lowest education budget

Moreover, strong collaborations between government, business, and academics are essential to ensuring a long-lasting and significant change in the country’s tertiary education system. Through cooperative research initiatives, internships, and hands-on training programmes that match business demands with academic curricula, these alliances can encourage Innovation. These companies can benefit from a trained workforce, institutions can obtain financing and resources, and students can obtain real-world experience by developing a symbiotic relationship. These partnerships can also help commercialise research results, boosting the country’s economy and demonstrating the value of Higher Education in advancing society.


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