Localizing education impeding National integration – Prof Umar

Samuel Luka, Bauchi

A renown mass communication scholar, Professor Umar A. Pate has observed that the present segmentation of education in Nigeria is posing threat to national integration of the citizens.

Prof. Pate who is the Vice Chancellor, Federal University Kashere in Gombe state made the observation while delivering a Pre-convocation lecture organized by the management of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) for the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th combined convocation ceremony on Saturday.

Speaking on the topic: “Education and Nigeria’s National Integration in the Digital Age: Matters Arising”, Prof Pate pointed out that threats to education’s role in integration include provincialization and localization of education in terms of admissions and staff recruitment.

He added that segmentation of education on the basis of income, religion, locality as well as its commercialization is also a threat to education’s role in National integration.

According to him, a situation where the society encourages corruption, exam malpractices, nepotism and cronyism, quality and stress in the system as well as parochial leadership and insensitive episodic directives also formed part of the problem.

The renown scholar also identified poor knowledge of Nigeria’s diversity, history, sociology, geography as some of the factors impeding National integration in Nigeria.

He said that the evolution of anti education policies, diminishing opportunities, poverty and Insecurity has militated against the role of education in National integration.

Prof Umar Pate said subverting values of education in national integration portends consequences such as subversion of universally acknowledged values of education, ethno-religious violence, insurgency, violent crimes, widespread corruption, poor governance and incompetent and worsening management of diversity and multicultural settings, among others.

He said that the situation continuously undermines the peace, integration and development of the country.

He further explained that Poverty, weak institutions and indiscipline heightened by digital hate speech and disinformation subvert Nigeria’s concept of trust for each other.

Prof Pate who observed that ethnic fundamentalists are rewriting the country’s history, said Nigeria is poorer, as lies and hatred predominate, with poisonous information overflowing and the people are sharply and dangerously polarized, thereby heightening uncertainty in the country.

He said for education to play its role properly towards National integration, Nigerian government must improve the management of diversity.

Prof. Pate challenged Nigerian leaders to lead and live by example, improve digital technologies with capacities to curb hate speeches.

He added that in order to make progress, the country’s leaders should make public schools attractive and accessible for the citizens, equip and empower them with the right skills and knowledge to understand the difference between wrong and right messages floating the media, most especially social media.

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