Former Nigeria’s President, Olusegun Obasanjo and a University don, Prof. ‘Supo Jegede have canvassed for total overhaul of the nation’s education system.The duo contended that unless the system was totally overhauled, the education system in the country would continue to dwindle.
They spoke at the 18th Valedictory Service and Prize-giving Day of Good Shepherd Schools held at Atan, Ota area of Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria.
According to Obasanjo, there was need for total change in the system, saying that: “we need to overhaul the education system. Unless we overhaul our systems, we will continue to have problem. The education system is just one subset of the system. Once we overhaul our entire system, every other system will fall in place.”
The former president, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Deacon Victor Durodola, lamented that “Our value system is changing, in fact, it has changed for the worse and unless we come back to arrest our value system and bring it to a path of rectitude, then we cannot change the educational system for good.
“But when we reorder society, our value system is reordered and we reform all our weak institutions, everything will work well; the education system will also work well. It is because our system has crumbled that the education system is affected, it is a reflection of what the system has been all over the country.
“Once we are able to reform ourselves, make our institutions to be strong, then the education system will be strong.”
On examination malpractice, Obasanjo said this was another form of corruption that must be tackled as it had eaten deep in the fabric of the education system.
“It is not only examination malpractices, look at corruption, look at what is going on in the country now. Examination malpractice is a form of corruption and so it deserved to be treated with some forms of iron hand and that is the only way we can take care of it otherwise it will just continue like a wild fire and we need to arrest it,” he stated.
However, the former president charged students to embrace change by being different from others, adding that “they have to be different and by being different, they make a wall of difference in that they will not follow the multitude to do evil, they will do things differently and not what the multitude is doing, then we can have a full change that we really need.”
In his paper: “Changing the Nation: An Individual at a Time,” Jegede said there was need for every student to embrace change, stressing that positive change could be brought about by deliberate, consistent and focused action through proper articulation and visualisation.
He listed barriers to change to include distorted perception, interpretation barriers, vague strategic priorities, low motivation to change and lack of creative response.
Jegede opined that individual and collective change could lead to change in the education system, adding that: “As individual, when change reaches greater scale, they contribute to population level changes. The individual impacts are the building blocks of community change, if they do not happen; it is unlikely that a community will improve,” he explained.
Director, Good Shepherd Schools, Dr. Adebayo Oyeyemi charged the graduating students to remain focus, work hard and strive to achieve their life’s dream of becoming great in the future as the school had instilled the gems to succeed in them.
However, the school graduated 225 pupils and students from its primary, junior and senior secondary schools.