Publisher Joop Berkhout calls for complete overhaul of education sector

No Comments » May 22nd, 2016 posted by // Categories: Education for Nigerians (EFN)




Publisher calls for complete overhaul of education sector

— 19th May 2016

Chairman, Safari Books Limited, Chief Joop Berkhout, has lamented the decadence in the nation’s education sector, calling for a complete overhaul of the system. Berkhout who stated this in Lagos during the presentation of a biography “I Remember” written by Professor Ladipo Adamolekun said: “The quality of education in Nigeria bears no comparison with the high quality during the 60s and 70s.”

He lamented that Nigerian universities, which are supposed to be international institutions where both students and staff come from across the world, have become a mere local institutions that can no longer match foreign institutions. He cited King’s College, London as an example, where his son is the Dean, and he has over 5,000 students and 600 members of staff coming from across the globe.

He said: “When I came here in 1966, a primary six pupil’s vocabulary content was 1,500 words; they were able to read and write, do arithmetic and were employable. Upper standard was used in primary six; today it is used at ordinary level.”

He further lamented the downward trend of education, noting that today, a great number of higher education students are not employable as most applicants are not fit for available jobs for lack of skills, adding that “we require a complete overhaul of the entire education system.”

According to him, for Nigerian education system to experience the good old days of academic excellence, the Ministry of Education must restore five years ordinary level, followed by two years higher school certificate.

He urged Nigeria’s government to establish more technical colleges, teacher training colleges and teach skills. Berkhout, who posited that the introduction of Social Studies at the expense of History and Geography was a grave error, adding that the decision has led to the younger generations not knowing anything about History and Geography of their country.

Going down memory lane, he explained that in those days teachers were highly respected and formed an important part of the society adding, “today most of them are semi educated and poorly paid.

“The confiscation of established Voluntary Agency Schools has done great harm to education. Another major problem we have is that most do not read hence, are unable to write a simple sentence that makes sense. Last month the world celebrated the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, how many of our young generation are aware or know about Shakespeare? He was celebrated all over the world, except in Nigeria. A book is everlasting and Shakespeare has proven this over 400 years. A house without a book is a body without a soul.”

While lauding the academic prowess of Professor Ladipo Adamolekun, Berkhout said that for over 50 years of publishing books in Nigeria, he had never seen a biography as detailed and accurate as “I Remember” written by Professor Ladipo Adamolekun.

The publisher said: “Having kept detailed diaries of his early life to the present, it is indeed phenomenal and makes this biography a rare book which is a great pleasure to read. Sometime last year, he phoned that his long awaited biography was in the making, there was no doubt in my mind that Professor Ladipo Adamolekun’s biography would be an important contribution to the world of learning.’’

According to him, Intellectuals like Adamolekun are a rare breed and are therefore not easy to find among the younger generation, urging all to follow in Adamolekun’s footsteps and write their own story.

(Source: VANGUARD)


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