Experts in the education sector have advocated a synergy between the public and private sectors to bridge the gap in research and development in the country.The professionals argued that funding research in Africa was critical in addressing the challenges facing the continent, especially in governance, reducing poverty, environmental degradation and democracy, among others.
In a communiqué issued after the Second Summer Institute held at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, yesterday, the academics disclosed that exposure to critical thinking was crucial to learning and excellent researches in the university system.
They expressed hopes that exploring strategies and innovative approaches of model scholarship best practices in other parts of the world would re-energise and re-invigorate the academic system.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau; Vice Chancellor of OAU, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede; Prof. Funmi Bickersteth; Chairman, Committee of Deans, Prof. Niyi Aluko; Provost of Postgraduate College, Prof. Gbenga Alebiowu, were among those who attended the event. Others are a group of 25 pre-doctoral and doctoral fellows from several universities across Nigeria, Kenya, Germany, South Africa and the United States of America (U.S.A.).
They added that entrepreneurship in Africa was key to overcoming the continent’s challenges, while practical demonstration of theoretical insights was critical to the learning process.
“Theorising on African epistemologies and applying lessons learnt will change policy direction by ensuring that policies are compatible with social and political contexts in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.“Exposing young scholars to the craft and skill of academic writing and publishing will empower them to overcome the challenges facing scholars in Africa.
“Exposure to global academic cultures on teaching, writing, publishing, mentoring and leadership is critical to the success of the young academic.Interaction with colleagues and scholars from other institutions challenges scholars to think globally and to see their local struggle as part of a broader global issue,” the communiqué reads.They further argued that encouraging multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary engagements could help to strengthen the Social Sciences and Humanities and in debunking negative assumptions about them.