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Govt alone cannot fund varsities – Obaseki

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

Edo state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, called on universities in the country to deploy new technologies in upgrading teaching as well as learning outcomes so as to meet the demands of modern societies.

Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, after addressing members of the Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Benin (UNIBEN) led by the chairperson, Mrs Amal Pepple, said that “with the outbreak of coronavirus disease, the whole process and method of learning and impacting knowledge has changed or is changing radically and 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 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 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 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.”

Noting that the University of Benin ranked among equals, Obaseki said “I received the results of the visitation panel of Ambrose Alli University so I can imagine the kind of work the University of Benin will have to deal with. The track records of the university speak well and we have no doubts that the job will be easier for the leadership of the university and called on the panel to come up with recommendations that will help in strengthening the university to be more viable, adding that “our institutions have suffered from our universities. It’s disappointing to see the level of corruption in some our universities.”

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