Revamp nation’s education, Tahir tells FG

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In an act to foster development in the educational sector, Prof. Fola Tayo, a renowned pharmacist has urged the Federal Government to revamp the education system.

Tayo declared this in a reception in celebrating his 80th birthday thanksgiving held at the University of Lagos, Akoka, he also said that education should produce innovative thinkers and not complacent graduates.

He was a lecturer at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for 14 years, and has taught in several universities across the country.

Tayo discussed about the use of English language as a means of teaching and learning in Nigeria.

He said, “Who told you we cannot study Pharmacy using Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa? Why must it be English? Why must UNILAG ask for Mathematics to read Law? What’s the use of Mathematics in Law? Why must you pass English to study Pharmacy?

We need to remove this toga of imperialism and slavery. If we don’t remove it, Africa will remain subjugated. We have become the raw material garden of Western powers because our education system never encourages critical thinking

“I know students who think the way I do; they jettisoned conventional methods and bring out something useful from nothing and through critical thinking. That’s education, not sitting down complacently waiting on what is done in America or UK.”

He emphasized on how lecturers treated their students in undignifying manners.

I left Idi Araba now 14 years or 15 years ago. There must be a sustainable legacy. If we drive these kids away from the institution, nobody will take over from us.

Today, I boldly talk about Bill Bowerman. He’s dead, but his legacy lives on. He is an indicator for our teachers; the way we treat our students in Nigerian universities is barbaric and is not good at all.

We see them as some expendable commodities. No, it is wrong. We should see them as our instruments that we will use to advance and carry them along with us so that they can also advance,” he added.

Also speaking, Prof. Lere Baale, who spoke on ‘Digital transformation of education in Africa: Bridging the gaps and building the future,” advised that digital transformation of education was paramount in achieving the aspirations of SDG 4 on education and advancing the global agenda for sustainable development.

By embracing digital technologies, leveraging innovation, and cultivating a culture of lifelong learning, educational stakeholders can catalyse positive change, foster inclusive and equitable educational opportunities, and empower individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern world with confidence, digital education competence, and resilience. Through strategic investments, collaborative partnerships, and visionary leadership, digital transformation can pave the way for a brighter future where education catalyses personal growth, social progress, and sustainable development for future generations,” he said.

Also, Dr Lolu Ojo, Chairman of the organising committee, a pharmacist, stressed that Tayo had impacted the lives of many people, and this was evident in the superlative response to his 80th birthday celebration.

Ojo said, “Prof. Fola Tayo is a foremost pharmacist, erudite scholar, mentor, and benevolent leader.

He has made positive impact on Pharmacy landscape and has been involved as a teacher, researcher, supervisor, Dean and Pro-Chancellor in many Universities, notably at Ahmadu Bello University, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Olabisi Onabanjo University, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo and Caleb University, Imota.

I met him about 40 years ago when he came to the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ife, as an examiner.

The meeting was exciting, educative, and memorable. He examined me on my final year thesis, and I impressed him well. enough to make the distinction grade in Pharmacology.”

A book written by Tayo, ‘His wondrous grace: Prof. Tayo’s sojourn in the academic landscape,’ was publicly presented at the event.

Also, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, the chairman of the occasion, prayed for the celebrant.

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