Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has called for the scrapping of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and advocated for the setting up of specialised institutions to improve the standard of education in the country.
Okorocha who said this in a speech he delivered at the 50th anniversary lecture of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in Kaduna State said the NYSC scheme had outlived its usefulness. “The NYSC was set up to promote unity but that has failed, so we need to look into other areas to improve the quality of education for our youths’ he said.
The governor called for the establishment of specialised schools like the Law School in all fields of study to equip students with practical skills to fit into the modern society. “It is worrying that some of our graduates cannot read or write but if they attend specialised schools after graduation they can have more practical skills than theoretical,” he added.
He said exposing graduates to further practical skill acquisition would also assist government to determine the placement of universities on the scale of excellence. “We should stop grading universities by age but by specialisation which can be achieved through exposure to other graduates in a post graduate school,” he added.
The governor called on universities to also consider alternative sources of funding rather than relying on government for all revenue. “Universities can set up farms to produce food and technology firms to bid for contracts to increase internal revenue,” he said.
Okorocha also called on universities to look into the bloated number of staff to save costs. “Most universities have a huge number of non-academic staff and other non-essential staff coupled with adjunct teachers that are a drain on the resources of universities,” he stated.
He challenged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to cooperate with university authorities to survive by reducing consistent demands for wage increases and allowances. “ASUU should do more than just plan for strikes over the least problems. They should engage university authorities on ways to save costs,” he said.