By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Vice Chancellor; University of Witwaterstrand, South Africa Professor Adam Habib at the weekend asked African governments to stop embarking on destructive path of destroying public varsity education.
Professor Habib gave the warning while presenting the 70th anniversary Convocation Lecture at the University of Ibadan.
The Vice Chancellor stressed that there are some political heads of governments in Africa whose main aim is to deliberately destroy public varsity education as going ahead with such move will put African citizenry into perpetual servitude
“The net effect of destroying our public universities would lead to the complete commodification of higher education, where local private teaching universities and foreign research universities would provide a quality education for the rich and the poor would be damned to an inadequate and ever declining quality of post-secondary education in the public universities” he said.
While warning Nigerian government and its African counters against taking such a destructive path which he said had been experienced in the past in south Africa, Professor Habib urged the Nigerian and other African countries to invest in public university education and create a platform so that her universities can compete globally.
Speaking further, he emphasized that the fundamentals of any African research intensive university are access, quality and mobility, saying, “it is important that all stakeholders recognise the central importance of our public universities.”.
” They are essential not only for training professionals but also for producing the knowledge and technologies that are required to allow us to participate and compete as equal citizens in the global community”.
It will be recalled that in Nigeria, the ASUU had embarked on strike to force government fulfill its Memorandum of Action it signed with the Union in 2017 bothering on funding and revitilisation of public varsities among other sundry issues.