By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Tertiary institutions have been charged to focus more on research as a means of advancing the course of humanity by seeking solutions to societal problems and providing answers to troubling questions.
Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola stated this on Wednesday while delivering a keynote address at the 43rd Founder’s Day Anniversary of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa with the theme: “Research and Innovation as Key Drivers for Sustainable National Development”.
Oyetola, who was represented at the occasion by Commissioner for Education, Hon. Folorunsho Oladoyin, described the theme of the event as apt and relevant to the nation’s current quest to build a virile economy as a country.
While stressing that there cannot be any consistent knowledge and idea without active input of the ivory towers, the Governor explained that it is not surprising to discover that throughout history, the ivory tower has served humanity as the source of knowledge.
“Innovation, on the other hand, enables us to test and put to practical implementation our ideas and generate new products or improved services. The research enterprise is what makes this possible.
“Indeed, it is true today that the countries with the strongest economies are also home to some of the most formidable and prolific centres of learning. It is on this basis, therefore, that one must situate today’s discourse, considering its centrality to our quest for rapid industrialisation, technological advancement and national prosperity.
“The point that must be made, of course, is that building a country of our dreams must necessarily require that we invest significant resources in revamping our education sector. This would require total overhaul of our curriculum, retooling of academics, providing infrastructural facelift, and stirring purposeful research entreprises.
“You will recall that in the 2021 budget, we devoted an unprecedented 18 percent of our annual budget to education. This is to keep up with our promise of providing qualitative education to our teeming youths and keeping our institutions alive to their social responsibility as active centres of knowledge production. That, for us, is the way to go,” the Governor stated.
He, therefore, challenged the school and other tertiary Institutions in the state to prepare to play a central role in the vision by providing competitive students who would put the College and Osun on the world map.
Also speaking at the event, Ondo State Deputy Governor, Hon. Orimisan Ayedatiwa, who represented the Governor of the State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, also charged the nation’s tertiary institutions to rise up to the challenge of finding solutions to the array of problems the country is facing.
He commended the Government of the State of Osun for investing heavily in education, saying the State is already on the pathway to greatness.
In his welcome address, the Provost, Prof. Labayo Kazeem,while appreciating attendees for joining in the celebration of the college at 43 said, the college has greatly contributed to the development of education in Osun State and in Nigeria at large.
Prof. Labayo said the college has significantly contributed to the advancement of teachers education in Nigeria.
While commending the zeal and desire of Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola to rapidly transform the education sector, he appealed to the Oyetola administration to consider upgrading the College to a University of Education.