Raymond Ozoji, Awka
University teachers in the country have unanimously resolved to tackle issues concerning mediocrity, decadence and substandard nature of postgraduate programmes in the nation’s university system.
This was the crux of the matter at the opening ceremony of the 55th meeting of the Committee of Deans of Postgraduate Schools in Nigerian Universities ( CDPGS ) held on Monday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Auditorium.
Speaking on the occasion, the host vice chancellor Prof. Joseph Eberendu Ahaneku said it was regrettable that there had been negative reports about the number and quality of research emanating from Nigerian universities.
He also disclosed that TET FUND had observed that many Nigerian universities were not accessing funds allocated for research and library development.
According to Prof.Ahaneku, some university teachers were currently making devious use of the internet to manufacture research publications and other academic crimes attributing such to poor research competencies rising from poor supervision they had received during postgraduate studies from teachers.
He however challenged schools of postgraduate studies to articulate appropriate curricula for indepth postgraduate studies among others.
On the other hand, chairman of the committee of Deans of Schools of Post Graduate Studies of Nigerian Universities and Dean School of Postgraduate Studies Benson Idahosa University Edo state Prof. S. Bamidele maintained that the import of the meeting was to improve on postgraduate programmes in Nigerian universities which he believed would lead to high quality education in the country.
Prof. Bamidele emphasized that to address mediocrity, the quality of students admitted for postgraduate programmes must meet stipulated standards stressing that supervisors must be thorough in their jobs to avoid plagiarism.
Meanwhile, the Dean School of Postgraduate Studies Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof. Ike Odimegwu, who also doubled as the host Dean for the meeting, noted that addressing mediocrity in the university system was one of the remote reasons the committee of Deans of Postgraduate Schools was set up to address the question of standards and quality.
Odimegwu stated that the meeting focused on the mandate of the schools to realise quality assurance in the prosecution of the mandate of the universities. He also expressed confidence that the 55th meeting of the Committee of Deans of Schools of Postgraduate Studies would profer solutions to the problems plaquing the university system at the postgraduate level as it concerns quality and standards.
Also, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja and Sokoto State University respectively Prof. Nuhu Yakubu in his remarks, maintained that Nigeria was a country where there were no standards. According to him, even when standards are set up, they are eroded over time, stressing that the nation’s university system needs surgical operation to address issues relating to decay in the system.
Prof. Dennis Aribodor, the chairman Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universties (ASUU) Nnamdi Azikiwe University branch, on his part, opined that mediocrity was antithetical to the university system.
He said NAU abhorred mediocrity and did everthing possible to ensure that excellence was always promoted in the system, pointing out that internal mechanism existed to address issues of ethical misconduct and mediocrity within the system.