Govt alone can’t fund varsities, says Obaseki
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called on universities in the country to deploy new technologies in upgrading teaching and learning outcomes so as to meet up with the demands of modern societies.
He noted that they must evolve and become more viable, as the government alone cannot fund their operations.
Obaseki gave the charge while addressing members of the Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Benin (UNIBEN), led by the Chairperson, Mrs. Amal Pepple, during a courtesy visit to Government House, Benin City, the Edo State capital.
According to him, “With the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, the whole process and method of learning and impacting knowledge has changed or is changing radically globally. Therefore, the way we think about university and the purpose of university must also change.
“We have seen the role of technology in education and the role of technology in transforming lives. We cannot ignore that fact and continue to believe that it is not relevant.
“The other challenge I am sure you will have to deal with is that of funding the university. Realistically, I don’t think the government alone can fund universities. I think we should explore other means to make our universities viable.”
He continued: “As far as we are concerned, the University of Benin (UNIBEN) has produced more manpower than any other institution in the state. So, we have an interest and a stake.
“We don’t see it as a federal university; we see it as our own university. We will always do everything we can to support the institution. We have our own universities and we are going through the same challenges you just mentioned.”
“I received the result of the visitation panel of Ambrose Alli University, so I can imagine the kind of work you will have to deal with. Your track records speak for itself; if anyone can do the job, it’s you. We have no doubt that you are going to do a thorough job,” the governor noted.
He charged the panel to come up with recommendations that will help in strengthening the university to be more viable, adding that “all our institutions have suffered from a lack of a sense of accountability. It has disappeared from our universities. It is disappointing to see the level of corruption in some of our universities.”
Earlier, Amal Pepple said that they have a huge task ahead of them, as they have a 60-day duration to submit their report.
Pepple, however, thanked the governor for the rehabilitation of some of the link roads within the campus and the renovation of the university hostels, which was used as the Games village for the just concluded National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020.