A PROFESSOR of African and African American Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, Jacob Olupona, has avered on the need for Nigeria to bid the experts in the diaspora and integrate them with homegrown scholars to revitalize educational system in Nigeria.
The Don added that Nigeria and Africa at large can also produce world-class innovative programs and projects when African countries set sail independent research professorships and developing centers of educational excellence.
Prof. Jacob said this while delivering convocation lecture themed: Shifting the Tide: The Promises and Challenges of Higher Education in Nigeria on Monday at the Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State.
He noted that some Universities who had served as important centers of excellence and attracted many intellectuals, scholars, and students from any part of the world at the time of independence in 1960s such as University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Nigeria, Nsuka have not been able to reach heights.
According to him, some of the brightest and best Nigerian professionals and scholars living outside the country are celebrated all over the world for their latent and innovation.
In other to tap from their knowledge, he said, “we must realize the potential of the expertise of the Nigerian diaspora. And we must integrate them with the homegrown Nigerian professional and scholars as it is this kind of mutual interplay that has contributed to the rapid development of nations like China, Korea, and India, who at various points in their history faced some of the kind of issues we face in Nigeria today.”
Prof Jacob charged private institutions in Nigeria on needs to develop their students on self life-skills.
In his conclusion, he said that the country must rethink its value philosophies. Saying “Our nation, especially our leaders, must understand the principles of nation-building.”
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