Anti-corruption fight requires eclectic approach, says ex-Caleb Varsity VC

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A former Vice Chancellor of the Caleb University, Lagos, Prof. Ayo Olukoju, has called on the Federal Government to adopt a holistic eclectic approach in its plans to introduce anti-corruption studies in the curriculum of Nigerian universities.
Olukoju told our correspondent in Lagos on Thursday that the main issue of corruption was in the general society at large, making it necessary for the government to adopt an eclectic approach that would involve sustained media, private sector, religious bodies and other stakeholders’ participation.
Recently, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, disclosed that the NUC had drafted the curriculum of a course in Cyber Security and Forensic Science to be taught in the universities.
The ex-Caleb VC, however, argued that the country required a combination of sustained media campaign and practical examples on the part of its leaders to address the problem of endemic corruption in the
country.
According to him, “The problem Nigeria has is not ‘head’ knowledge but the problem of translating knowledge into practice and my belief is that it is better to adopt a bottom-up strategy. I believe we need sustained media campaign and practical examples on the part of leaders.
“Leaders are not just in government, but they include opinion leaders. We need leaders who walk the talk. So, it requires a combination. In other words, it has to be an eclectic approach, which will include the classroom, the media approach and the religious leaders at places of worship.
“In other words, work on these younger ones start from primary to secondary school and all that. In any case, from my experience, most students will just take that course just like any other course. You will recall that the University of Nigeria Nsukka started what we call General Studies courses and in my own time at the UNN, there were only three of such courses.”
He argued that measures needed to effectively fight corruption were beyond what would be taught in the classroom.
Olukoju said, “If you were an arts student, you would take courses in science and social sciences and everybody took a general study course in English. But today, you have a proliferation of all those courses; so students just go through
them, but the courses do not pass through the students. So, having another one would just be treated as ‘another course’. So, I think it takes more than sheer knowledge.
“What I think is required is something that goes beyond the classroom. It is good to teach it (anti-corruption) but let us go down to the lower level of education.
Parental instructions at home will also be critical because this thing is simply attitudinal. It has to be taught, it has to be imbibed and
practised.”