By Shina Abubakar – Osogbo
A lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, Prof. Francis Egbokhare, has said universities are the last channel for value formation and pipeline for national development.
He stated this in Osogbo during the Annual Retreat of the College of Humanities and Culture of the Osun State University, UNIOSUN.
In his speech tagged, “Mentorship, Academic Collaboration, and University Culture: A Global Perspective,” the don added that teamwork, freedom of learning, institutional autonomy, intellectual development, pursuit of truth, academic and moral integrity, leadership, service orientation, respect for one another and diversity were the core elements which determine an ideal academic culture.
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The professor of linguistics who described UNIOSUN as a unique institution also emphasised the need for academic collaboration, mentoring practices, national ideology-driven research and curricula that emphasize interdisciplinarity.
He noted that belief in single modernity was a bane of educational development in the country and advocated for a system that would be open to diversity.
His words: “This (belief in single modernity) mindset enforces a worldview and paradigm that is considered as truth but only applicable to originating cultural ideology. It ignores the fact that there are alternative paths to progress and divergent conceptual possibilities of what constitutes progress, development, and modernity.
“Alternative and authentic pathways have been crowded out and there is a failure to build our educational system on the basis of the potentials of our society. The foregoing emphasizes the fact that a critical appraisal of the nature of the state, vision/ideology of the state, national priorities and vision of humanity should be at the centre of our approach to learning.
“What we regard as knowledge, what we allocate to diverse aspects of knowledge enterprise cannot be determined externally on the conviction that the propositions from the global centres of power are always right and true.
“Global standards are not global at all and standards are not in fact standards but project narrow perspectives which are validated by researches localized and whose results are generalized as universal.
Prescribed models for dealing with issues have to be tested locally. Standards and procedures can easily be seen as a cultural template for thinking and narrowing down alternatives.
The strident call for endogenous solutions to problems is a call for a culturally appropriate approach. There is in fact a clear recognition of the importance of culture in development agendas.”
With the theme “Strategizing for Effective Workplace Performance towards Sustainable University Culture”, the College Retreat, according to the Provost, Dr. (Mrs) Temitope Balogun, the event was to enhance the university staffers’ knowledge and skills in order for them to improve their performance in teaching, learning, research, and community building.
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