By Kemi Olatunde
Every reasonable government must ensure it invests in education and in Ondo State, the government of Arakunrin Oluwatorotimi Akeredolu SAN, is putting in place necessary measures to ensure that students get the best in terms of education.
Last Saturday Adekunle Ajasin University turned out over 9,000 students who received various degrees.
Midweek Digest gathered that out of the 7624 students that earned First Degree in the 2014/2015 sessions. 29 graduated with First Class Honours, 1, 316 bagged Second Class Upper Division, 5183 earned second class lower division, 1027 had Third Class Honours while 69 got Pass Degree
“In the postgraduate category, 16 bagged Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D,128 earned Master’s degree, while 18 had Postgraduate Diploma in Education, PGDE.
“Of the 2,026 that graduated in the 2015/2016 session, 21earned First Class, 609 graduated in Second Class Upper Division, 1,151 bagged Second Class Lower Division, 239 got Third Class, while six had Pass Degree.”
Speaking at the event, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, assured that his administration would continue to support the school to achieve the purpose for which it was established.
According him, education would continue to be the pride of the state as his administration would continue to use it as vehicle for social economic engineering.
While urging the institution to embark on curriculum upgrade that would address the challenges of graduates unemployment, Akeredolu said such an upgrade would make the University’s graduates job creators rather than job seekers.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Igbekele Ajibefun had stated that the institution has made a loud statement to the World that graduation is not just an event, but about contributions to knowledge production and societal development.
He said that the University has lived its mandate to effect a change and carve a niche for itself in a nation seemingly reeling out unemployed and jobless graduates.
He added that the University has produced self-reliant and skills-oriented graduates who are passionate about entrepreneurship and service to humanity.
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor’s Forum also described Governor Akeredolu as a visionary leader who has won himself a lot of respect through his calling.
He enjoined people of the state to show more understanding and continually support the Governor in his avowed determination to transform the state.
In his response, the overall best graduating student from the Department of Physics Electronics, Mr Oluwatimilehin Awe, who graduated with a CGPA of 4.83 gave gratitude to the Almighty God for his academic excellence despite coming from a poor background.
While delivering the 7th Convocation Lecture titled “Nigerian Universities and Youth Empowerment,” Professor, Toyin Falola, said, “It is about time Nigerian universities updated their curricula to meet up with the demands, thoughts, and urgencies of the present and serve the need of their immediate and global societies by introducing more practical aspects into courses in the universities.
“The curricula have to reflect state-of-the-art concepts in order to be relevant in the contemporary dispensation. That is, they have to shift from conventional teaching techniques; adopt technological materials and approaches in knowledge delivery; customize programmes to suit the interests and capabilities of individual students; and inculcate the importance of developing start-ups to encourage independence and creation of more jobs.”
“In a regressive economy as Nigeria’s, there is also the need to equip students with empowerment and entrepreneurial skills so that they could have something to, at least, subsist on after the completion of their university education.
“In fact, in many advanced countries in the world, skills like photography, fashion designing, shoemaking, graphic design and printing among others are already being taught as vocationally oriented degree courses. It is therefore a good idea if this is replicated in Nigerian universities. It is high time some of these skills are designed into degree courses. This is one viable way of ‘exploring alternative degree formats’.”
He advised universities to, through courses under general studies, help the students to work on their generic skills and attributes which required by employers, which include having the right attitude and work ethics, proper and effective communication skills (including writing), managing relationships, emotional intelligence, respect for authority, and grooming and etiquette.