Former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, has raised the alarm over the high level of academic corruption in the country, saying that over 60 per cent of project reports of Nigeria undergraduates are plagiarized.
Speaking at the first Kwara State University (KWASU) Education Lecture at Malete on Thursday, Professor Okebukola said that rate of plagiarism as a form of academic corruption at the Masters level is between 15 and 20 per cent and eight per cent at the PhD level in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
“It’s academic corruption when lecturers don’t show up in classes as required or teach only 10 subjects out of about 20 in a semester, and when students negotiate with lecturers for marks”, he said.
On the topic of the lecture, Declaration of state of emergency in education in Nigeria: The day after, Professor Okebukola said that solving problems in the education sector might be challenging, but not impossible.
“Government must place a high premium on education by providing adequate financial resources for the sector. Our institutions of learning must also look for innovative ways to raise funds. The teaching profession must be considered as one of the most important jobs and accorded due regard. The Minister of Education must appeal to state governors to give special emphasis to addressing the problem of low quality of basic education. Also, there is the need for an enabling environment to be created for teachers and students through improved conditions of service, provision of basic infrastructures for the delivery of quality education.
“It is not in doubt that in the next six months or so, attention will turn more to the election process and less on the emergency that has been declared on education. The closing prayer of this lecture is that when the hurly-burly of elections are over in May 2019, the priority for government should be in implementing the road map on rescuing the education sector from the emergency situation”, he said.
Okebukola, who is also the president, Global University Network for Innovation,
said that Nigeria universities are grossly under-resourced in human and physical resources, called for adequate funding of public educational institutions in the country, adding that weakly served funding had led to the unacceptable level of decay in the education sector.
He frowned at activities of some state governments in the country, who he said were quick in establishing state universities but very slow in funding the institutions.
The educationist, who said that inadequate funding of education at state universities had led to non-accreditation of courses and low standard, charged state governments to stop asking the management of state universities to fend for themselves.
“Yet, these state universities admit an incredible number of students above infrastructure put in place. What they are doing is literally selling certificates to gullible graduates and bleeding Nigeria education system”, he said.