In November 2016, a new vice chancellor took over the leadership of The Osun State University (Uniosun), He is Professor Labo Popoola, A professor of forest economics and a specialist in sustainable development. Five months after his appointment by the visitor to the university, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, The editor, Kazeem Mohammed examines the successes recorded so far by the University under his leadership and the vision of the University To impact on its environment towards sustainable development goals.
There is a general belief that to guarantee development in the education sector, particularly in the area of funding is a sole responsibility of government, but another school of thought has taken this belief as a serious mistake that would not benefit any of the stakeholders in the education sector –students, parents, academics and university system.
To the Vice Chancellor of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Professor Labode Popoola it is a mistake to think that it is government that has to do everything in the education sector, saying the communities, parents and other stakeholders must also play their roles effectively to get the desired result.
“If teachers or students do not belief in the education policy of government, then there is a problem somewhere. No matter how good that policy is, it would not work. It is the same for the entire country, people do not want to pay fees, we want everything to be free and resources would remain ever scarce. So in such a situation, we cannot get the optimum value for education”, Popoola stressed.
Besides, poor funding is also being identified as a major bane of the education sector, as there have been complaints that both the federal and state governments are not funding education to the tune of what is expected in line with the UNESCO and United Nations recommendations that at least, a quarter of the budget of the country should go into education, but Professor Popoola holds a different opinion that the little fund available to the education sector had not been properly utilized.
“If we have been able to use the little we have properly, we should have something better than what we have now in our educational system. We are so wasteful, there is fraud and corruption in the system and the outcome doesn’t really justify the investment in the sector. So, I think that all stakeholders should come together and ensure that we pursue education that will engender sustainable development. For now, our education does not pointing at sustainable development”.
All these seem to be the guiding principle when Professor Popoola took over in UNIOSUN as the new VC in November 2016 and according to the Coordinator of the Progressive E-Group, Oyebamiji Alabi, he was confronted by numerous operational deficiencies which had snowballed to a hard stub militating against all efforts to maximize the potentials of the Osun State University.
No doubt, Popoola has brought on board, his over three decades experience in academic arena to rejig the fortune of the university in a manner that will benefit the society and raise the reputation of the institution.