Enugu — Vice Chancellor of the University of America, California, Prof. Gamalier O. Prince, has said that the change mantra of the Federal Government must fix the educational system if there must be positive improvement in the country.
Prince, who stated that the nation's academic system expired long ago, said that the leadership of Nigeria had continued to fail because the educational system failed to impact the right qualities and had not shown signs of recovery.
Prince said: "People in Nigeria are getting expired education. That is why you see people who studied engineering and are not able to do engineering feat. You see people who studied computer science and are not able to understand anything or diagnose computer language and what have you. This is because Nigeria's educational system is a dilapidated one.
"The problem of Nigeria began from the citadel of learning and if you want to fix Nigeria, you must fix the educational system. This is because every Nigerian in leadership went through our academic institutions - politicians, scientists and leaders. They were not able to acquire trainings that could be used to advance the course of the country. If our leaders have failed, it is because our educational system has also failed. So, if you want to change Nigeria, change the educational system. So, the mantra of change must begin with the academic institutions and students."
Prince spoke in Enugu during the first joint matriculation of the University of America, an affiliate of Peaceland College of Education, Enugu, where the Provost, Dr. Leonard Ilechukwu, was conferred with the professor of Education Administration.
The college is a campus of the University of America in Enugu.
Meanwhile, the vice chancellor stated that the university had decided to introduce the "updated American education" into the country for the students in affiliation with the Peaceland College, Enugu.
"It is not about bringing Americans to Nigeria but the curriculum. The curriculum we are going to use, currency and relevance of the textbooks to modern day challenges, technology and what have you. It does not matter who is going to operate them. Nigerians can be taught how to operate them. Americans can come but we don't hope to bring Americans to stay here. Our job is to train Nigerians in what they can do. We will bring in the Americans who will avail same textbooks, technology that we use over there.
"I believe that somebody studying engineering should be able to manufacture, and if you are doing computer, you should be able to produce your own computer. The students of Peaceland should be able to come to see what their American counterparts are doing, think what they are thinking and be able to compare it with what they know and that is what we call comparative education and when you put that together, you have what is called a wholistic education. Schooling is different from education. The environment is the difference between the black man and white man and this is what our education will try to address," he stressed.
He told the matriculating students that the university was poised to moulding them realise their dreams in life and become productive citizens, saying there was no room for laxity and malpractices that were the hallmarks of education in Nigeria.
Earlier, Ilechukwu said that the programme of the school was very exciting, adding that the institution remains one of the dynamic institutions in America.
"Make it a goal to grow in multiple dimensions. Make it a goal to take advantage of the University of America. Push yourself to reach as high as possible in your studies. Make it a goal to do your best - to excel to the highest level possible," he told the students.