Tasks ahead of Professor Salami, the new VC of UNIBEN

 
Tue Nov 26th, 2019 - Edo
 

Professor Lillian Imuetinyan Salami


History does matter. ‘It has a way of repeating itself’, and has shown clearly that ordinary calculation can be upturned by extra-ordinary personalities. In the case of Professor Lillian Imuetinyan Salami, a home economist/nutritionist and former Dean of the Faculty of Education, her recent appointment as the second female vice-chancellor after Grace Alele Williams, and the 10th substantive vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, Edo State, the ancient argument whether circumstance or personality shapes events are settled in favour of the latter.

Expectedly, torrents of accolades may have been received from Nigerians of goodwill with more expected for this unique achievement. However, I must confess that since that announcement, despite my familiarity with social responsibility postulations-which teaches that every freedom must go with a responsibility, each time I remember this feat; fears which leave me lost in the maze of high voltage confusion comes flooding. The reasons for this confusion stems from two similar but separate sources. While the first flows from the general decadence in the education sector and where to find the will power to revamp it- a challenge which was detailedly explained in a recent intervention, and will form the plot of the present piece, the second is UNIBEN specific; and rooted in a new awareness that if what is happening in other tertiary instituting schools in the country is a challenge, that of the University of Benin is a crisis.

The protest by students of the institution on Friday 1st November 2019, to register their grievances over the poor state of infrastructures and incessant fees charged by the school authorities support this assertion. As the subsequent paragraphs will reveal, University of Benin has in recent years, for yet to be identified reason(s) defined leaning too narrowly in a manner devoid of process and outcome fairness; got preoccupied with revenue generation without consideration to the students comfort or wellbeing; identify errors among students without beaming searchlight on internal occurrences. Forgetting that ‘if learning must persist, teachers must also look inward, reflect critically on their own behaviour, and identify the ways they often advertently or inadvertently contribute to the institution’s problems and then change how they act’.

 
 

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source: Guardian