Curricula as well as teaching in Nigerian universities do not unlock problem-solving potential of the students and are barely relevant to the country’s current challenges, the chairman of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal party, Tope Fasua has suggested.
“It is painful that we are teaching university students some wrong things,” said Mr. Fasua, economist and Global Analytics chief.
He spoke, Wednesday, at the this year’s conference of Nigerian Economics Students Association at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Emphasising that university students should have initiatives, he said, “they ought to be thinking for themselves.”
Mr. Fasua was particular about Economics as a course and its practical implications for societal progress.
He said: “We must know that humans cannot be predicted accurately without any degree of deviation the next moment.
“Economists must never stop to ask questions and must not remain dogmatic. Our country needs people who can maintain open minds and not too many ‘pretending economists’ running the affairs of the country. It is not about what we read on newspapers.
“Economics is about masses and economists must put leaders on their toes.”
He, therefore, urged the students to have open minds and always give room for doubt with ‘error term’.
The conference had in attendance students from other universities, including University of Ilorin, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Kwara State University, University of Osun, Alqalam University Kastina, Federa University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Bowen University, Oduduwa University and Redeemers University, among other
Also speaking, Paul Alaje of SPM Professionals touched on Nigeria’s debt profile,which he said was taking unsustainable dimension.
“For every None we make in Nigeria, 30 kobo is used to settle debt,” said Mr. Alaje, OAU Students’ Union President in 2010. “We can’t continue to run things that way and achieve Nigeria of our dream.”
He also touched on the profound role of technology in development efforts, and encouraged students to gain problem-solving skills and knowledge, apart from what’s taught in classes, that could make them job worthy and self-employable.
He said: “I enjoin students not to limit themselves to the classroom. For economists, degree no longer matter. What you know and have ‘upstairs’ will make you specialists.”
“Technology has gone viral and we all need to adapt to the system. ATM for example don’t go on strike like workers. Meaning you will be hired for the problem you can solve, not because employers are in need of workers
“Your certificate won’t make you different, it is your mentality that will help you if you don’t want to be missing in the crowd.”
Mr. Dolapo Oni, head of energy research at Ecobank also encouraged students to be conversant with the economy of the country and Africa at large.
Also, students from various institutions expressed their satisfaction with the conference.
Elijah Fadare said he was pleased to be among the delegates from Redeemers University: “we could not make last year conference, but I am we made it this year. The host varsity treated us well and we really enjoyed the encouragement and admonition we got from the speakers.”
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