Education, key to nation’s growth and development, says ex-minister
Former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi has posited that the growth and development of the nation can only be assured if the education sector is strengthened.
He maintained that there is a need to create an environment that facilitates new knowledge creation through research with requisite governmental and societal support.
Adelusi-Adeluyi, who is the founder of Juli Pharmacy, spoke while delivering the first Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu Annual Lecture at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
The lecture was held in honour of Mrs Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele, who endowed two professorial chairs in Pharmacy, and Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2005. The chairs were, however, converted to annual lectures because the funds available were insufficient to sustain the endowments.
In his lecture titled: “Private Public Partnership as a vehicle for sustainable pharmaceutical education”, Adelusi-Adeluyi narrated how the American government pumped billions of dollars into the space research program that effectively saw it landing a man on the moon in less than a decade thereafter.
He said: “Tertiary education has a critical role to play in harnessing a country’s human capital. Ultimately, because it seeks to expand the frontiers of knowledge, it not only boosts the capacity of the individual, it actively seeks solutions to the problems and challenges that afflict mankind, drives social transformation and promotes economic growth and development.
“It is clear that Nigeria’s socio- economic growth will remain inextricably linked to the strengthening and development of its education sector, especially its tertiary education sector.
“Universities not only impart knowledge in people, they also actively seek to create new knowledge by expanding the frontiers of current or previous ones. That is why for instance, Isaac Newton’s paradigms were at some point overruled by Albert Einstein’s theories. There is no guarantee that someday, Einstein’s will not in turn be overruled by yet another top scientist.”
The guest speaker also tasked academics to find solution to the problem of unequal access to education, warning that lack of access for the poor could have disastrous consequences.
He then called on the Federal Government to come up with a Public Private Partnership (PPP) strategy to finance tertiary education backed by the political will to implement it.
According to him, “Such PPP will need to address specific objectives such as improving the quality and relevance of tertiary education. It should also support the idea of university business incubators and science parks and even encourage private grants and endowment.
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