Monday, 27 November 2017

Let’s talk about Crutech Convocation today —by Princewill Odidi


Princewill Odidi|27 November 2017 

Yesterday CRUTECH had her convocation graduating about 5 badges retrospectively. This does not tell well of the state and management of our tertiary institutions. 

It is obvious convocations are no priorities both to the school and to the state government. It is not a priority not because it is irrelevant, but because the money is just not there to finance the ceremony and to a large extent it has been politicized. I was surprised we offered a honorary degree to Governor Dickson, a man who refused to fund his state owned university for almost two years, keeping students at home and engaging in open political fight with the Professors. 

In terms of infrastructure Hope Waddle calabar is better than Bayelsa University. So you wonder the basis for awarding him a  honorary degree when he has shown no regards to education in his home state.

Once we get to the point in our history when politicians decide who is offered a degree in a university, then it is obvious the system is collapsed. 

Let us not digress, let's go back to the poor state of our Universities. The earlier the politicians stop running the universities from their campaign office to satisfy political calculations,  the better for our collective future as a people. 

Crutech over the years have been struggling to pay salaries from the meager subventions they receive from the state government,  and the bulk of the students cannot afford to pay school fees, so convocation in terms of necessity was not a priority. 

 In developed economies, government does not pay subventions to universities to pay salaries, in most cases government provide  research backed funds to boost capacity of the academics through a competitive grants platform. Governments also provide loan guarantees to banks and funding agencies to provide soft loans to students to cover tuition, books and other expenses.

 These loans are paid directly to the schools by the bank to prevent abuse and misappropriation. The student takes full responsibility for the loans and repayable to the bank upon graduation, but if unable to pay, the government repays the banks. 

If our universities receive their funding from banks Second week of the school year, our universities will be top rated worldwide and the quest for overseas studies by children of the rich will eventually stop. While primary education is a universal right, tertiary education is not a right but a privilege if government intervenes. 

For Nigeria this is where our problem lies. We do not have a national database that can be relied upon to implement government guaranteed loan programs repayable upon graduation making it difficult to implement Western styled educational policies. 

With a little bribe, you can be issued 10 different international passports and 10 different ID cards. So to cut a long story short, corruption has destroyed every fabric of life in Nigera and makes well intentioned policy proposals unworkable. 

The question is can we ever get it right? The answer is yes. We need a leadership that understands how governments and institutions are designed to run with a determined political will ready to enforce compliance in all sectors. Development is no magic, we can get it right if we choose to. 


Princewill Odidi is a social Commentator writing from Atlanta.



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