Professor Kingsley Moghalu, a renowned education expert and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has made a passionate call for a comprehensive overhaul of Nigeria’s education system. Speaking at the prestigious University of Lagos during the 5th Arthur Mbanefo Lecture, Moghalu emphasized the urgent need for a radical transformation of the country’s learning approach to prioritize literacy, skills development, and national values.

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The event, which marked the 94th birthday of diplomat Sir Arthur Mbanefo, highlighted the critical link between quality education and national development. Moghalu’s keynote address was a stark reminder of the current state of Nigerian education, plagued by alarming rates of out-of-school children, low literacy rates, and gender disparities in educational access.

The political economist and education expert criticized the government’s inadequate funding for education and its failure to implement key recommendations from experts in the field. He argued that these shortcomings have resulted in an education system that fails to meet Nigeria’s national needs, producing graduates who lack the skills and knowledge required to drive economic growth and development.

Moghalu proposed a fresh approach to education in Nigeria, suggesting that it should be human-centered, culturally relevant, and focused on practical skills. He stressed the importance of strengthening STEMM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) and improving the status and quality of the teaching profession. This, he believes, will equip Nigerian students with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the global economy.

The University of Lagos Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, praised the contributions of the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre to the university’s technological advancement. She highlighted the university’s success in leveraging technology and innovation through its research centers and tech hubs, demonstrating the potential for Nigerian education to excel with the right approach.

Chief Arthur Mbanefo, a former ambassador and university administrator, shared his experiences in higher education governance and expressed disappointment over the decline of vocational and technical education in Nigeria. He called for its revival, emphasizing the need for a more inclusive and diverse education system.

The lecture underscored the urgent need for educational reform in Nigeria to address current challenges and prepare the country for future development. Attendees, including notable figures from academia, politics, and the media, engaged in discussions about the path forward for Nigerian education. This gathering of experts and stakeholders reflects a growing consensus on the need for significant changes in Nigeria’s approach to education.

As the country faces increasing global competition and rapid technological change, the call for an education system that produces skilled, literate, and values-driven citizens has never been more pressing. The event concluded with the unveiling of a compendium of the Arthur Mbanefo Lecture Series, marking five years of discussions on critical national issues. This series continues to serve as a platform for generating ideas to address Nigeria’s educational and developmental challenges.

Professor Moghalu’s call for an overhaul of Nigeria’s education system is a clarion call to action for policymakers, educators, and stakeholders. The time for change is now, and the future of Nigerian education hangs in the balance. Will the government and relevant authorities heed the call and work towards a more inclusive, skills-focused, and values-driven education system? Only time will tell.