Fund education to reduce ‘Japa’ — Prof. Babawale

By Sade Adewale, Ondo

A Lecturer in University of Lagos, Professor Olatunde Babawale, has advocated the need for the government at all levels in Nigeria to allocate more funds to education, stating that the move would enhance the socio-economic development of the country and reduce the incidence of emigration of its citizens to other countries.
Babawale, a professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, made the statement in a lecture delivered on the occasion marking the 60th anniversary of the former Adeyemi College of Education (now Adeyemi Federal University of Education Ondo), which was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Auditorium in the institution.
Speaking on “Reflections on the ‘Japa’ Syndrome and the Nigerian Educational System,” the University scholar described “Japa” as a form of migration that is not only experienced in Nigeria but occurs globally.
He expressed concerns regarding the negative effects the Japa syndrome has had on the country, especially on brain drain, which he said led the country to experience a “haemorrhage” in terms of depletion of the country’s skilled manpower and talented individuals, whose presence could have helped the country maintain its position as a leader in Africa.
Babawale further decried that between 2016 and 2018, “9,000 medical doctors moved out of Nigeria to the United States,” stating that the resultant effect led to fewer doctors left to treat large numbers of people.
In addition, the Professor of Political Science explained that the situation is further compounded by the result of a survey that showed that 73 percent of Nigerians, and 89 percent of its students, have indicated intentions to leave the country.
Describing the situation as worrisome, the University scholar urged the government to pay more attention to the development of the country’s education sector by tackling problems of inadequate infrastructure, curriculum deficiency, shortage of qualified teachers, high cost of school fees (particularly in private schools), as well as unconducive teaching and learning environments, and the disconnection existing between educational qualifications and access to employment opportunities.
He further stressed that the depletion of talents and skilled professionals in Nigeria can be addressed by stopping the “Japa syndrome.”
The ACAN Provost, therefore, urged the government at all levels to embrace cost-cutting strategies in its expenditure by spending less on activities that may not have direct positive effects on the citizens, but spend more on education to resolve problems associated with low-quality education and disparity existing between the quality of education in urban and rural areas.
As a panacea towards addressing the problems, Prof. Babawale advocated for a rejig of the country’s school curricula, integration of education and culture, promotion of technical education, and addressing the problem of infrastructural deficiency.
In addition, he harped on the need for stakeholders in the education sector to synergize in the fight for the eradication of sexual harassment, sex-for-grades, and other social vices; the use of indigenous languages in the writing of scientific books; and capacity-based admission processes.

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Fund education to reduce ‘Japa’ — Prof. Babawale

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