Don decries lack of facilities in universities

A university lecturer has decried the lack of infrastructural facilities needed for proper learning and teaching in Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning.

Prof Dede Konkwo of the Department of Mass Communications, Imo State University (IMSU) Owerri, however, disagreed with the popular notion that the standard of education has fallen.

Speaking to Christian Voice, Prof Konkwo argued that the standard had risen in recent times but facilities to match the rising standard had not been made available.

He lamented that even the available ones are either obsolete or have decayed considerably.

According to the founding head of Mass Communication in IMSU, there were fewer students in the universities in the 60’s and available infrastructure were adequate for a conducive teaching and learning environment.

Today, he said, more institutions have come up and many of them heavily populated while the facilities dwindled, giving an impression of a falling standard in education.

He said that lecturers are working even harder these days despite the obstacles they are facing.

With regard to journalism practice in Nigeria, the mass communication expert gave practitioners a pass mark stating that the press is relatively free in the country where democracy is still fledgling.

Prof Konkwo, however, commended President Goodluck Jonathan over the Freedom of Information (FoI) law, but added that FoI is all about accountability and transparency, regretting that the Federal Government has not laid the foundation for transparency.

On which date should be chosen as Democracy Day, he said that June 12 is significant in the political history of the country as that day Abiola’s Presidency was annulled but that May 29 is also a landmark as the day military handed over to civilians.

The day the military disengaged from politics being May 29, he stressed, should be appropriate as Democracy Day.

Prof Konkwo pointed out that the common man today is really feeling the presence of democracy especially in Imo State as there is free education, scholarship for students at the tertiary level and roads are being constructed.

About the re-naming of University of Lagos (UNILAG) to Moshood Abiola University, the lecturer said that he empathized with the university authorities, adding that UNILAG is a brand name that should be retained and sustained and that the change of name did not go down well with the people.

He disclosed how bad he felt when IMSU was changed to Evan Enwerem, although the name was restored and asked the federal government to rethink, adding that the President’s advisers did not advise him well.

Commenting on the Dana Air crash, he described the incident as unfortunate. He condemned the use of old aircraft and stressed that it should be discouraged.

He also, called on the federal government to take a proactive measure in the aviation industry in order to avoid further occurrence and indiscriminate loss of lives.


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