The Governor of the State of Osun has charged graduating students from the university to rise above carrying ‘bland certificates’ and put their competencies to work in creating solutions to global problems.
This, the Governor said can only be possible when every member of the university community begins to ask relevant questions and conduct research that solve problems.
The governor said this as part of his inspiring speech at the 10th year anniversary and 6th convocation of the institution.
Ogbeni Aregbesola acknowledged the strides the school had made in a decade, and appreciated all stakeholders including the past Governor Oyinlola, the chancellor, Mrs Folorunso Alakija and the vice chancellor, Prof. Labode Popoola; but he stressed the need for the school to punctuate the deserved merry-making with deep reflections.
He drew a comparison with the first university in Nigeria, then University College, Ibadan, which after its 10th year had produced two students the likes of Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Prize winner, Chinua Achebe, a Nobel Prize multiple nominee and other titans like Augustus Adebayo, Michael Omolayole, Chief Bola Ige and others who took the academia, politics, and the business world by storm.
Lamenting the vices that have plagued tertiary institutions in the nation, Aregbesola called on the school community to be relevant to the world outside its walls.
“I am therefore tempted to wonder and ask if, for instance, the university’s College of Education has any direct relationship or impact on any of the elementary, middle or high schools anywhere in the state or around its campus. What is the impact of the College of Agriculture on farming and food security in Osun? Is this university engaged in researches on the extant existential challenges faced by humanity, beginning from this state? Beyond graduating students, is there a way the immediate community of the university has benefitted from its researches?…
” The university should provide leadership in innovation and productivity. Earth-shaking changes are on the verge of breaking loose on our world and this should not catch us unawares. In the next 10 years, knowledge would have transformed the world beyond recognition. Self-driving cars, running on battery, using zero fuel, and programmed with all the addresses will be in the market in commercial quantity.
“The mobile phone will act as medical scanner that will, more than the doctor, accurately diagnose illnesses and diseases and prescribe medication, reducing the need for hospital visits.
Robots are being developed to take over works in the farms, eliminating the need for manual labour and fuel guzzling heavy machinery. These robots will do all the physical works and more: weeding, planting, watering, carrying our security surveillance on farm and crops, deterring pests and thieves, carrying out soil test, adding soil additives, harvesting, processing, storing and transporting. The farmer just programmes and supervises.
Robots will also take over the manual labour in the construction industry.
With hydroponic technology, fruits and vegetables planted on artificial soil in trays that grow and mature in days have been developed for astronauts and are now being made available for the larger farming community. It means, every home can provide its own fruits and vegetables, and in matter of days.
“Solar technology will become simplified and cheaper. This will make electricity abundantly available, also eliminating the use of generators and internal combustion engines. More worrisome from this is that oil will attract little or no value by then.
The overall consequence of all these is that low skill and menial jobs will be eliminated, meaning only highly skilled individuals would be relevant in this brave new world. This is the future that any student today should be prepared for, not just having a bland certificate but clueless about life, survival and competitiveness in a digital and ICT driven world. Any society without this vision is going to be backward and dependent when this future arrives. It now behoves on our universities to tailor their researches and prepare their students for this new world.”, he said.