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Don calls for measures to curb moral decadence in tertiary institutions

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A Don, Dr Olajumoke Mekiliuwa, has emphasised the need to curb moral decadence in Nigerian tertiary institutions through value re-orientation approach.

  Research and Publication Committee, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, on Tuesday.

The colloquium had the theme:` Causes of and Solutions to Moral Decadence in Nigerian Institutions: A collaborative, Multi-Stakeholder Approach`.

Mekiliuwa said that the Nigerian educational system had failed to fulfill the tripartite function — the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes — rather, it had fueled the growth of moral decadence in the society.

“According to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in its National Corruption Index 2019, out of the five most corrupt agencies in Nigeria, education is ranked third after the Police and electricity sector, ” she said.

Mekiliuwa said values re-orientation in the educational system could only be achieved using a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach.

The stakeholders include government, proprietors, schools, parents, staff, corporate organisations, faith-based organisations, the media, NGOs, among others.

“It is the duty of institutional managers to put in place clearly articulated policies and mechanisms that reflect zero tolerance for reprehensible and unethical acts.

“Appropriate mechanisms such as surveillance cameras, telephone hotlines and suggestion box should be mounted to break the conspiracy of silence surrounding vices as sexual harassment, admission racketeering and examination malpractice.

“The Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria plays a huge role in regulating the profession as well as in maintaining discipline.

“Corporate bodies can also partner with institutions to endow grants, awards, scholarships as well as sponsor academic -riented talent shows,” she said.

that existing national laws and academic regulations should be enforced against crimes such as exam malpractice, sexual harassment, cultism and certificate forgery.

She also said that the proposed bill before the Senate on Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions Provisions Act 2016 should be revisited and passed into law.

The Don said it was important to also note the foundational issues which gave rise to moral decadence in the Nigerian educational system.

“The undue exposure of today’s youth to foreign cultures and lifestyles, over westernization, values deterioration has transformed the Nigerian society into a materialistic one.

“The advent of reality and talent shows such as Big Brother Naija, Project Fame, Nigerian Idol which transform winners into overnight millionaires have fueled the need for instant gratification in youths today,” she said.

plagiarism, drug abuse, extortion, rape and enforced textbook sales.

“Economically induced vices in schools are not limited to students, as staff of institutions are often caught in the web of admission fraud, exam leakages, marks inflation as a means to augment their small salaries.

“The rising phenomenon of campus prostitution among students is also a worrisome trend where male students become boy toys to sugar mummies who finance their lifestyles and education.

“Furthermore, a subtle cause of decline in moral and educational values in tertiary institutions is incessant strikes.

“Strikes lead to amputated academic calendars, uncompleted syllabuses which in turn breed weak and ill-prepared students desperate to pass exams,” she said.

She said the overemphasis on paper qualification and certification as yardsticks of academic achievement was responsible for the decline in educational values.

This, she said, had led to the commercialization and commodification of education “with admission spaces, academic grades and certificates going to the highest bidders.”

In his presentation on drug abuse and cultism, Mr Abayomi Adegbenjo, one of the discussants said institutions should create more awareness by laying emphasis on the dangers of drug abuse in the curriculum.

”Institutions should work closely with agencies such as NAFDAC, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Health in sensitising students and conducting regular drug tests, ” he said.

On her part, Dr Janet Adeboye, another discussant, cautioned lecturers, students and parents to desist from examination malpractice to ensure holistic development of the mental and intelligent capacity of students.

In his remarks, the Provost of the college, Dr Ademola Azeez, lauded the keynote speaker for addressing the ills prevalent in tertiary institutions that had inhibited the quality of learning.

He reiterated the commitment of the management to continue to utilise technology to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in the college.

AI/DE/SOA

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Oluwole Sogunle

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