It is in the spirit of embracing and indeed paying attention to a brilliant head, one of Nigeria’s finest Academic, Professor of Environment Law and Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun, that a large number of professionals, some, Staff of Lagos State University, some, staff of University of Lagos, many, Alumni of University of Lagos and Students of Lagos State University converged on the Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos, Aloha, for the 6th Prof Adetokunbo Babatunde Shofoluwe Memorial Lecture.
Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun was the Guest Speaker at the Annual Lecture held in honour of Prof Babatunde Shofoluwe, a late former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos. He spoke on the topic: Commodification of Education: what Imperatives for Transforming University Education in Nigeria?
In the Lecture, Prof Fagbohun examined the challenge of funding of tertiary education in Nigeria. “The gross Underfunding is the organic catalyst of the state of education sector and it is what has given rise to the different coping strategies that universities are adopting, including the Commodification with all its challenges”
He further explored the many consequences of commodifying education, one of which is that it overlooks the value of intellectual challenge and exploration by reducing knowledge to quantifiable, job-oriented results.
He warned that simply asking students to pay more for education would not solve the problem of underfunding, rather, it will lead to bigger unforeseen consequences.
He advocated, amongst other things, that the government at both federal and state levels must separate recurring expenditure of staff emoluments from capital expenditure and ensure that they give weighted premium to both. He further stated that increasing the annual budgetary allocations to education by each levels of government and proper monitoring will go a long way in improving the standard of the education sector in Nigeria.
After the Lecture, Prof Fagbohun was given an award of recognition by the organizers. The Award was presented by the immediate past Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof Rahman Bello, and supported by the incumbent, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.