December 19, 2014 – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said that students studying in Nigeria schools are better than those trained in oversea schools.
Fashola who was speaking when Dean, Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Philips Jegede led members of the Obafemi Awolowo Free Education Order to his office in Ikeja said what is obtainable for Nigerian students in schools of higher learning is scholarships and bursaries, not loans like their counterparts in the US and other places.
“Out there when I hear things like students should have loans, I ask myself have you thought it through? Because the average American student is owing something in the region of $15 to $20,000 by the time he graduates and he does not have a job because he took a loan”.
“So sometimes when people agitate these things, maybe you should interrogate it further because about 1 Trillion of the 16 trillion Dollars that America owes is for students loans”, he explained.
He explained that what is obtainable in Nigeria today are bursaries and scholarships and not loans, maintaining that students studying locally are better off than those studying overseas.
He explained that all over the world today, funding of education and funding of healthcare which lie at the heart of human capital development.
According to him, the issue of education is not about whether it is free but about the challenge of funding adding that while the beneficiaries may argue for free education, the service itself is not free.
“It is paid for somehow because lecturers do not teach for free in a free education system. So we must first understand and that was the big issue during Chief Awolowo’s time. It was, can you afford this? And therefore something has to give way. So it is a question of agenda and priority setting”.
Earlier Dean, Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Philips Jegede has explained that the Obafemi Awolowo Free Education Order is an apolitical and academic outfit that is dedicated to keeping alive the legacy of the late Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo alive.
Jegede described the group as an apolitical and academic outfit which concerns itself with keeping alive the educational legacy of Awolowo.
He added that the outfit which was established by the Awolowo family but domiciled at OAU, Ife has been organizing annual lectures and programmes that would keep aflame the legacies and visions of late Papa Awolowo .
He explained that a discussion has been held in the faculty and among the Awolowo family on the choice of Governor Fashola as the guest lecturer in the 2015 edition adding that the choice has been informed by the performance and contributions of the Lagos State governor in the education sector.
“We are talking about the EKO project, the involvement of the private partners in education, the raising of the falling standard of education and we found in him a man translating theory in education and lastly his intervention in LASU crisis. They look like things Pa Awolowo would do if he were to be alive now and that is in consonance with our ideals and our goals and with what we try to promote”, he stressed.