By Saheed Ibrahim
“The Nigerian education system can still provide solid foundation for top-performing students in the country and abroad. We just need to do more to make the system more attractive and ensure the outputs from education contribute to the nation’s economy,” a scholar, Dr Jimoh Fatoki, has declared.
Fatoki, who emerged as the best-graduating PhD student at the 2023 graduation ceremony of New Mexican State University, USA, graduated from the University of Ibadan with first-class honour and distinction in his master’s programme.
He explained that the Nigerian education system have what it requires to develop top-performing scholars that can favourably compete with their counterparts in other countries.
He, however, noted that the education sector needs deliberate investment and the provision of a conducive environment for teachers and students to thrive.
“The education system in developed nations is different from that of the developing countries. The resources, support and attitude to work make a difference.
“Back home, we still need to do a lot of work to improve our education system to synchronize the three layers of the fundamental goals of education: learning, experimenting, and innovating.
“It’s a process and there is no shortcut, if we want to make the system sustainable. Once we start investing and providing conducive environments for educators and students to thrive, we will make a quantum jump towards improving other areas of our country, including the economy.
The Osun indigene added that there must be deliberate efforts to make significant changes to the policies and investment in the sector, saying, “There are no quick fixes”.
Speaking on the ‘Japa’ syndrome among Nigerians, Fatoki stressed that Nigerian youths are not travelling abroad just for education but for opportunities for greener pastures after their studies.
He said, “every form of education is an investment for which one will expect a deserving return. If such a return is not worthwhile or below expectations, then such education is not worth pursuing in the first place.”
He recommended that the education sector must be made attractive for educators and students through proper rewards systems and investments.
The scholar identified total commitment, adequate resources, and support from lecturers, family and friends as his motivational factors.