Nigeria has wrong mindset about education
Category: Education Written by Judd-Leonard Okafor
A university don says Nigeria has a wrong mindset about education—considering it a means to a degree instead of growth.
Prof Juliet Elu, vice chancellor of Gregory University, Uturu, said, "The mindset of Nigerians in general need to change."
"If our notion is to get a degree [for the sake of work], it doesn't always work that way. We have to do more than that [to see that] having an education is really a prospect to pursue other opportunities," she said.
She spoke days before Gregory University is to officially open and matriculate its pioneer students on February 9.
Elu said Gregory University's approach to education as a social obligation informed its insistence to train students in entrepreneurial skills so they can contribute to society.
Gregory is the latest private university to open to students, but will focus on sciences and engineering.
Its three existing colleges stretch between basic and applied science which "bridge the gap between the practical and theory", said the school's proprietor Dr Gregory Ibe, a decades-long proponent of skills and entrepreneurial education.
“The notion of profit [for private institutions] should not be key,” said Ibe. “The key should be what private institutions are going to offer. Are they going to produce students who meet reality?”
Underscoring the significance of scholarship, he said the school would offer scholarship to ease tuition burden on some of its pioneer 85 scholars.
Gregory is also seeking partnerships with companies and groups as African Development Bank, UNESCO and African Capacity Building Foundation in hopes of endowments that would translate into reduced student tuition.
Founding the school has cost nearly N9 billion in outlay, according to the proprietor, but the school is autonomously reaching into enterprise to generate its own funds.
The enterprise so far includes a printing press, hotel, factories where students can work or hone their skills, and farms.