Babcock University in Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, has graduated 1,926 first degree holders, among which was Mrs Edafe Dogo, a mother of two who graduated with a 4.95 cumulative grade point average, to emerge the overall best in the 2018/2019 academic session, Punch Metro reports.
Dogo, who is a staff of the school, said she chose Business Education because of her love for teaching, a trait she picked from her mother who was an elementary school teacher.
While speaking with journalists at the 17th convocation of the institution held at the University Stadium on Sunday, she also disclosed that the support of God, her husband and lecturers enabled her to achieve the great feat.
“As a wife and mother of two children, I will say it was God and I trusted Him from the beginning because I didn’t know how to go about it. My family was wonderful, they cooperated with me. My husband helped out whenever I was tired and couldn’t meet up. Throughout it was just God, because without God the waking up early and sleeping late to read would have been in vain. I also had the best lecturers. They never gave up on us, they kept on pushing us until we achieved. I owe my success to my lecturers, family, colleagues and classmates.
“I feel it was easier for me because I was doing something I loved doing, every class or exam was enjoyable. When the results started rolling out I was amazed and just surrendered to God’s will. This is simply God’s will, there is nothing super about me,” Dogo enthused.
Speaking on the topic ‘Faith, Fact and Fiction’, the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair at the University of Texas in the United States, Prof. Toyin Falola, said the days of the government taking care of everyone was over, as he noted that there was a need to combine skills acquisition with the acquisition of certificates.
Falola said, “We need not say we want to separate faith from knowledge because we can combine them to produce better citizens that can have more integrity. Students can collect a degree and be spiritual and also knowledgeable, this combination is very positive for the development of the country.
“However, the important question is to what extent can the government assist private universities like Babcock. They can do scholarship for students because they are Nigerians. A scholarship will be the best because that way they divert money to the private university. The days when the government could absorb everybody has gone and we need to combine the acquisition of skills with certificates. It is not wrong to have a BA in English and have a skill in plumbing or painting. So, we have to rethink the packaging of these degrees to make sure they are infused with skills element.”
He further advised the graduates to use the values they learned to develop themselves and the country.
On his part, the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Mr Boss Mustapha, said it was essential that the government ensured that the standard of education was not lowered.
Mustapha advised, “One of the things we need to do is to ensure we prepare our graduates in every stratum of our educational system for the world market. That means we have to give them skills or resources to be able to face the challenges of employability. It is not only about graduating with a certificate if you don’t have the desired skills to be employable it constitutes a problem.
“Our education system should tilt towards the direction of making our graduates skilled in such a way that they will not rely on the government for employment but become entrepreneurs and job creators.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ademola Tayo, said he expected the students to become job creators rather than job seekers because they were taught entrepreneurship.
“Most times education in Nigeria trains only the head alone without training the hand and heart that is why some are very clever mentally but they are not able to use their hand to add value to the society. Babcock believes in holistic education, training the whole man; the physical, spiritual and social aspects of man, so that wherever they find themselves they can cohabit with other people.
“The graduates should think out of the box. What we have given to them, they should replicate it. I expect them to become job creators rather than job seekers because we taught them entrepreneurship,” Tayo said.
The ceremony saw the guest lecturer, Falola, conferred with a Doctor of Letters, just as the university graduated 372 postgraduate students.