A Development Sociologist at the Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Dr Busari Dauda has asked the federal government of Nigeria to halt its anti-intellectual education policy under his watch.
He noted that Nigeria’s development cannot be more than the level of its educational development.
Dr Buhari asked President Bola Tinubu not to allow education to degenerate further under his watch if he cannot improve what he met on ground.
The University Don made his position known while presenting the 27th Faculty Lecture of the Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan.
Speaking on the topic, “How much is enough? A Random Walk in the Marketplace of Social Research”
According to him, it was surprising that a government who has not increased funding of public universities will ever thought of getting 40percent from whatever these underfunded universities generate before withdrawing the directive.
The University Don maintained that if President Tinubu is interested in developing Nigeria, he must invest and fund public education noting that the deliberate attack and pauperisation of lecturers by government will not augur well for the country.
Today, Dr Busari said “there is the habit of anti-intellectualism that permeates the policies of the Government and directed at the Public Universities has assumed a pitiable reality. One of the most distinct marks of this descent into philistinism is the deliberate pauperization of the universities to the detriment of quality education. The infrastructural decays in Nigeria public universities is appalling. The staff are not motivated, the public and even the students whom the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have often protected from draconian policies are now the major antagonistic party against our union. If this government cannot improve on the standard it met on ground and it should at least strive to maintain the status quo. We have imagined that this government will tackle the inherent challenges confronting the public universities head-on but the signals we are getting is indicative of a measured attempt to further put the university education in jeopardy”
Yoruba, as a language, is rich in poetry. It is a beautiful language that is pregnant with inexhaustible wisdom and lessons. For example, in Yoruba land, Òrìsà are believed to be the intermediaries between Olodumare and man. Their importance includes their heroic deeds, tribulations surmounted, and the metaphysical powers they wielded, which distinguished them from ordinary humans.
“Òrìṣà bí o le gbè mí, se mí bi o se ba mí.” Literarily translated to mean Deity, if you cannot improve my material condition, please do not worsen my plight’ or, more appropriately, ‘Please, leave me as you met me’.
Dr Busari called for system thinking arguing that the Deficit of systems thinking has caused repeated failure and frustration of Nigerians.
“The primary problem with Nigeria is the deficit in systems thinking. “Systems thinking is a way of making sense of the world’s complexity by looking at it in terms of wholes and relationships rather than by splitting it into parts. It has been used to explore and develop effective action in complex contexts, enabling systems change.
“Our approach to leadership and issues in Nigeria lacks the capacity to think in systems. What we have is a highly sub-optimised system. Until people acquire systems literacy in leadership, their greatest efforts will not achieve sustainable ends. The absence of systems thinking leads to strategic fixation, blind optimism, repeated failure, and frustration.”