A Lokoja, Kogi State-based communication expert and political analyst, Dr. Kabirudeen Tiamiyu, has said that the importance of education cannot be overemphasized, as the development of any nation or society depends largely on the literacy level of the citizenry.
Dr. Tiamiyu, a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication in Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, was among the 618 persons that reportedly bagged a doctorate degree of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, during the 50th convocation ceremony of the institution held recently.
Tiamiyu averred that “education is the bedrock of any society. It is through education that a society attains development. A society without education is at its precipice of destruction and abject poverty. It is through education that the world is able to achieve its breakthrough in the areas of medicine, information technology, agriculture, etc.
He continued, “Education bridges the gap and assists us to connect within and outside our immediate environment. It transforms our lives and gives us a secured future. That is why it is pertinent for a country to make education its top priority, thereby guaranteeing the lives of its citizens for the betterment of all.”
The don, however, lamented that “some third world countries, Nigeria inclusive, have not really keyed into the global best practices in their educational policies, as we see in the advanced countries.”
This, according to him, “has indeed robbed its citizens the golden opportunity of enjoying and attaining the best in their educational pursuits. Most often, government’s unfavourable policies result in strike action being embarked upon by lecturers.
“Just last year alone, Nigeria’s public universities were shut down for over eight months, meaning that the students were idle doing nothing for that long period of time. And this could have a lot of depressing effects on the students, which may lead to poor academic performances and inability to compete favourably with their counterparts in other climes, particularly in terms of productivity.”
Dr. Tiamiyu identified poor remuneration and constant failure of government to fulfil promises made and agreement reached with lecturers as the major causes of the incessant strikes in the country’s institutions of higher learning.
He said, “Government’s poor pay package for lecturers is one of the major reasons lecturers often embark on strike actions. For a country like Nigeria, where a councillor earns higher than a professor with so many years of experience, is quite pathetic! There is need for the government to review the salary structures for lecturers in tertiary institutions. With a reasonably improved welfare package for lecturers and proper funding for tertiary institutions, the issue of strike would become a thing of the past; and this will result in positive development in the land.”
He further stressed that “there is a need for the cost of acquiring quality education at all levels to be meaningfully reduced so as to make it available, accessible and affordable for all. Governments – both state and federal – should significantly improve on the allocation for education in their annual budgets to ensure better funding for education at all levels.”
Speaking on his academic feat, the communication pundit said, “I give God all the glory for making it possible for me to be one of those that were recently conferred with Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, in Mass Communication at the 50th convocation ceremony of the reputable academic institution, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN.
“I thank the management of UNN for considering me fit to be awarded a doctorate degree after fulfilling all the necessary academic requirements. My profound gratitude goes to all those who supported me one way or the other in the course of the programme. May they all be blessed!”