The Dean, Faculty of Science, Delta State University, Abraka, Prof. E. O. Adaikpoh, has called for the overhauling of the Nigerian education system in order to improve its systemic value before it can serve effectively in the development of science.

Prof. Adaikpoh, who stated this last Thursday (November 9, 2017) while delivering the 12th edition of Prof. Mosobalaje Olaloye Oyawoye Endowed Lecture organised by the Faculties of Life and Physical Sciences, University of Ilorin, added that Science and Technology, being systemic value-improving, are needed for such deployment. 

In the lecture, entitled “In the Service of God and Humanity”, the scholar lamented that the Islamic Studies subject has been 'maligned' at each stage of its growth. He called for the review of the 60:40 Science to Liberal Arts ratio, as envisioned by the National Policy on Education, stating that this was “necessary because a technologically advanced Nigeria devoid of decency will be counter-productive.”

Prof. Imam also noted that the decline in the total number of candidates who registered and sat for the May/June WASSCE Islamic Studies between 2007 and 2016 has led to a reduction in enrolment to study the subject at Nigerian tertiary institutions. “These sorry conditions of the subject have been worsened by insufficient teaching staff, infrastructural and instructional materials, which earned most of the departments offering the subject at the tertiary institution level interim accreditation status”, he added.

The Inaugural Lecturer said, “Islamic studies and those who study it have experienced one form of dislike, mockery or the other. Quite a number of successful Islamists today yesterday had low estimation of themselves and felt inferior to their peers. A few others have also relegated the subject to the background and treated those who chose it as a career with disdain”.

He, however, explained that “despite this negative attitude, it has been demonstrated in this presentation that Islamic Studies confers spiritual and mundane benefits to those who acquire it. Spiritually, it provides a correct understanding of Islam to those who acquire it and leads them to its proper practice. In the mundane sense, taking a career in Islamic Studies provides meal ticket and helps to address numerous problems facing the society through researches that recommend Islamic solutions to those problems”.

Prof. Imam further stated that “such competence has been acquired through critical and creative thinking skills that training in different subject areas of Islamic studies have inculcated in those who acquire it, explaining that given these benefits that Islamic studies confer on both individuals and the society, “it will not be out of place to state that it is a discipline dedicated not only to the service of God but also to humanity.”

Highlighting his contributions to his field among which is the production of an anti-corruption teaching/preaching manual funded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Prof. Imam said the manual was meant “to appeal to the religious consciousness of the Nigerian Muslims so that they can abhor economic and financial crimes and assist in fighting them to a halt.”

Prof. Imam, who also serves as the Research Manager (Humanities Cluster) in the Centre for Research Development and In-House Training (CREDIT) of the University, enjoined teachers and students of Islamic Studies “to be proactive at all times and ensure that they contribute meaningfully among their peers without any complexities”.

He further urged Islamic scholars to  “take portents from other professionals who not only express the desire that their children take after them professionally, but ensure their training in that direction by encouraging some of their children to specialise in Islamic Studies or related fields”, saying, “If you do not value or know your worth, who will?”