Jonathan Calls For Recalibration Of Nigeria’s Educational System As Igbinedion University Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has called for a recalibration of the nation’s educational system in order to be relevant in the technology-driven 21st century. Jonathan made the call on Friday at the 25th anniversary and colloquium of Nigeria’s premier private university, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.

The former president, who was the chairman of the anniversary celebration, stressed the need for the Nigerian educational system at all levels to be tailed towards the reality of modern technology. He said, “I am one person who believes we need to recalibrate our educational system, not only at the tertiary level but at the primary and secondary levels. How do we recalibrate our educational system? It is to make sure that we produce products that will be able to pilot our economy—products that will be able to fit in in this technology-driven world.“

Now, no matter what you studied, you must know how to operate a computer; you must be technology savvy, or you will become irrelevant. Many things are being done with robots in the 21st century. Now, if we are not teaching our children all these, how do they fit it? This is why we need to recalibrate our educational system.”

According to the former president, as part of the recalibration of the nation’s educational system, the government and educationalists need to stop the menace of bullying in primary and secondary schools and cultism in tertiary institutions in order to attract people from all over the world. Jonathan, while congratulating the founder and principal officers of the institution on their 25th anniversary, said that it is not easy to run a university for a good 25 years.

On his part, Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Lawrence Ezemonye, said, “The university has, over the past 25 years, evolved into a beacon of academic excellence, a crucible for innovation, and a nurturing ground for future leaders.”

The VC, while describing the celebration as an “emphatic illustration of the dogged determination of the founder, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, to transform the educational landscape of our nation,” boasted that the university has “continued to champion revolution in higher education in Nigeria, changing the narrative in higher education pedagogy.”

Enumerating some of the university’s landmark achievements so far, the Vice-Chancellor said: “Just yesterday, the university unveiled the Petrol Minibus designed and developed by the College of Engineering for use as a project vehicle. This prelude to the second phase of the project, which will entail the design and development of an electric minibus by the college, is scheduled for completion before the end of next year. “Similarly, the university’s multi-million-naira oil palm processing mill was commissioned yesterday. A collaborative project between the Central Bank of Nigeria and Igbinedion University, Okada, the processing mill has an installed capacity to process palm oil at a rate of 2 tonnes per hour, with provision for future expansion. The facility will not only boost the university’s internally generated revenue but also serve as a platform for research and training by staff and students.

In the same vein, the newly completed Okunozee ultra-modern hotel (a division of IUO Holdings) at Usen Junction, Okada, was also commissioned yesterday. The first of its kind in Okada and Usen communities, the 5-Star Hotel boasts state-of-the-art facilities and is set to change the tourism landscape of Edo State. More importantly, it will cater to the needs of parents and visitors to Igbinedion University who will no longer need to shuttle between Benin and Okada when they have to stay in Okada for more than one day.”

He added, “We will continue to invest in cutting-edge research, foster interdisciplinary collaborations, digital literacy, technological fluency, and curriculum shift to meet the evolving needs of the global workforce. Our ultimate goal is to provide our students with a truly global education that prepares them to navigate the complexities of an interconnected world.”

On his part, the founder and Chancellor of the university, sir Chief Dr. Gabriel Igbinedion, reiterated that the establishment of private universities in Nigeria did not come on a platter of gold, said the bold step he took in 1999 has paved the way for 147 private universities in the country.

Dignitaries who attended the 25th anniversary included former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.); Governor Godwin Obaseki, represented by Commissioner for Education, Joan Oviawe; former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah; former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori; and members of the Governing Council led by its Chairman, Prof. Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah, the immediate past Vice Chancellor and the Director-General at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Prof. Eghosa Emmanuel Osaghae among others.