University Admissions Must Be Based On Merit -Don
Prof. Jacob Olorunfemi of the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Ilorin, has called on tertiary institutions to insist on merit for students’ admission into Nigerian varsities.
Olorunfemi made the appeal on Thursday in Ilorin while delivering his valedictory lecture titled: “Revisiting the why and how of what is where”.
According to him, admission of students should be based on merit and any admission request to the Vice Chancellor must be strictly based on merit and not on quota/distribution policy.
He said: “There is even no provision for discretion, and that subsists until the rule is changed.”
The don, who until his retirement teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, also called for the abrogation of 25 per cent quota for educationally less developed states in Nigeria.
He argued that there is no longer any state in Nigeria without a state-owned university in Nigeria.
“The 25 per cent quota for educationally less developed states be jettisoned, as there is no state without a state-owned university in Nigeria (NUC, 2022).
“Catchment area should be modified to include all the states that are contiguous to the state of location of the university.
“The university Senate should not under any circumstances abrogate its role in the development of curriculum for the university,” he said.
The expert in Geography also stated that admission into universities be separated from those of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
He explained that applicants to tertiary institutions be given the choice of at least three institutions with the second and third choices from institutions located in the other two major ethnic groups of Nigeria.
Olorunfemi called for the reintroduction of Geography as among the six core courses at the senior secondary school level.
He submitted that Geography be reintroduced as one of the six compulsory core courses at the senior secondary level, because of its utility.
“Geography should be retained in both the faculties of Science and Social Sciences to provide additional entry opportunities for potential students.
“It should be immediately introduced to the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano, because of its importance and relevance to the training of police and other security officers,” he added.
Besides, the Geographer called for sufficient investments to develop education in Nigeria, adding that good education is a catalyst for national transformation and development.
He also advocated that the right of all and sundry in an organisation must be assured, guaranteed and protected.
“Promotion should not be based on sentiments, while appropriate criteria should be advertised far ahead of time, such that staff members can do a self-assessment,” he advised.
Speaking also, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, the Vice Chancellor of the university. commended Olorunfemi for his contribution towards development of education.
Egbewole, who was represented by Prof. Abayomi Omotesho, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), described the professor as an academic worthy of emulation, while congratulating him on his retirement.
Aviation Varsity Begins Academic Activities, Sept
With just seven days to the end of the present regime, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, for the second time announced that academic activities of the proposed African Aviation and Aerospace University will commence in September 2023.
This is as the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nile University of Nigeria for the commencement of the 2023/2024 academic activities of the institution.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this while signing the MoU with Nile University, on behalf of the Federal Government.
Sirika had last year announced that the African Aviation and Aerospace University will commence registration for the 2022/2023 academic session on September 26 to November 18, 2022.
Signing the MoU last Wednesday in Abuja, the minister said the university will help address the research and development gaps in the aviation sector, adding that it will begin academic activities offering BSc courses in Aviation Business and Meteorology.
Sirika also mentioned that the university has hired its management staff and created an academic brief while noting that there are plans to privatise the university in the future for greater effectiveness.
He said, “The university ought to have happened a long time ago because it is part of our roadmap in 2016 that was approved by the president and this is just to go straight into research and development in civil aviation and aerospace and of course environmental sciences.
“This university has received attention all over the world. The first of its kind in Africa and by the grace of God, it would be one of the top universities in the world. I’m also very sure that we may even go into aviation medicine in the near future.
“It is dedicated to those core mandates of aerospace aviation and environmental sciences. It is intended to attend to the huge demands we have in this sub-region of ours and indeed continentally especially as Africa is looking to unite, integrate and become one entity in all fields and human endeavours.
He added, “I’m happy to say that the academic brief has been developed, the management staff have been employed and of course, it will be governed by the Federal Government but will be owned and operated by the private sector through PPP arrangement.”
“I’m sure in the long run, it will end up being truly private sector but the government needs to ground it fully to ensure that the take-off does not suffer any hitch.
“The university will run both physical and online courses. These days, universities are turning virtual and we will begin with the Bsc Aviation Business and Bsc Meteorology and of course, continue to grow.
Also, not too far from now, we will be getting approval from NUC to commence Master of Science in Aviation Management.
“Nile will provide support for the undergraduate programme for the first two years and it is expected that more research and collaboration will be established between the AAAN and NUN.”
He further stated that many countries, universities, and organisations around the world including the International Civil Aviation Organisation have indicated interest to partner with the aviation university and offer some support.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of Nile University of Nigeria, Prof. Dilli Dogo, promised to tender full support to the aviation university with all it requires for a smooth take-off.
Dogo went on to commend the minister for the initiative saying that the minister and his team were determined to see that the university would take off as soon as possible.
“The initial plan was that it will take off in the 2022/2023 academic session but because of bureaucracies of government processes, it was not possible to complete the due process required for us to actualisé what we started.
“The initial understanding which is subsisting is the fact that 100 and 200 and part of 300 level academic activities take place here and the rest will take place in NiMet and part of it will take place in the school of Aviation Kaduna, Zaria.
“To us, we are privileged and indeed pleased to be part of this momentous occasion and we look forward to actively participating in the delivery of this brand new university that seeks to positively impact Nigerians and indeed the African continent.”
Club Honours Commissioner With Book Presentation
The Elite club of Nigeria (an Omuanwa-based community development Association) has honoured the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom through the public presentation of a book titled “The Chronicle”, Reflections on the Life and Ideas of Prof. Prince Chinedu Mmom to honour him.
Speaking at the public presentation of the book at Community Secondary School Omuanwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area the chairman of the occasion who doubled as the Community Development Committee chairman (CDC) Mr. Chinnah Ugo Kingsley said Prof Mmom, as an academic personality has left his footprints on the sands of time and that the book serve as an honour to him and everything he stands for.
In his keynote address, the president of the Elite Club of Nigeria, Rev Fr. John Iheanacho represented by Kelachi Anokwuru described Prof. Mmom as a worthy son of the community, who has contributed enormously to the advancement of the academic world through his scholarly research, teaching and community service with particular attention to geography and environmental management.
Anokwuru who described Prof. Mmom as a living legend said the book which contains a compilation of the life, ideas, moral values, academic attainments, among others descriptions so as to encourage other well meaning sons and daughters of the community to position themselves on the pathway of success in order to achieve uncommon feat in their chosen careers.
Responding, the Commissioner for Education, Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom said for a book to be written and launched in his honour was something he could not have imagined would ever happens to him looking at where he was coming from.
In his words, “Standing here today to address you gives me a nostalgia. for a book to be written and launched in my honour gives me mix feelings, but I return all the glory to God. What am enjoying today is the mercies of God. I’m not the first to become a professor and as well Honourable Commissioner for Education, but it pleases God to make me whom I am at a time like this.
Mmom charged that there is no short cut to academics, adding that if you must make it to the top, you must avoid distractions, saying: “As an accomplished academia, he has paid his dues as a distinguished Professor, remarking that he is blessed being the son of Omuanwa community and the community is also blessed to have a son like him.
“As the first Professor of my community and being honoured with a book that talks about me in such a captivating title means a lot to me as it was written by elites from my community and I truly appreciate and thank you all for recognising my efforts and giving me and other distinguished members of the community awards of merit and hardwork.”
Commissioner Tasks Youths On Hard Work
An Academic Professor, Prince Chinedu Mmom, has charged young academics in his community to study hard as well as remain focused and committed in order for them to achieve their set goals and objectives in life.
Mmom, who is the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, stated this at the weekend during the public presentation and book launch in honour of him, by members of Elite Club of Nigeria, held at Community Secondary School, Omuanwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Mmom, expressed surprise over the book launch titled; The Chronicle, Reflections on the Life and Ideas of professor Prince Chinedu Mmom, and stated that the book will encourage younger scholars in the community to think towards building knowledge in community development in the area.
“I have always said that there is no short cut to success. What has taking me today to where I am is as a result of hard work. I got committed and focused and never allowed distractions. I targeted I have minimum five publications within last promotion to the next, so I never missed any promotion and these are things that enabled me achieve the level of academic that I did.
“So I encourage young academia behind me to stay focus and committed, work very hard, set the targets and am sure when the time comes you will be able to achieve even more than I have achieved,” Mmom added.
Professor Mmom, however, expressed happiness over the book and commended members of Elite Club of Nigeria for giving him such a huge honour in the community.
Earlier, the president of the Association, Elite Club of Nigeria, Reverend Father John Iheanacho, represented by the vice president, Kelachi Anokwuru, described professor Chinedu Mmom as an Erudite professor, who has contributed enormously to the general body of knowledge and community development.
“Prof Mmom has contributed enormously to the body of knowledge through his scholarship research and community service with particular attention to geography and environmental management.”
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
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